Elegies for the Brokenhearted
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August 2010 Indie Next List
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"Deeply, satisfyingly original…Elegies is the literary equivalent of a hand grenade." —Joanna Smith Rakoff, New York Times Book Review
Who are the people you’ll never forget? For Mary Murphy, there are five, eulogized here in an utterly unforgettable voice. Mary tells the story of her own life—her childhood spent trading one home and father figure for another, her efforts to track down her rebellious sister, and her winding search for purpose—through her experiences and encounters with the people who shaped her path. The result is an unconventional and moving story about identity, family, and belonging.
Praise For Elegies for the Brokenhearted: A Novel…
— Publishers Weekly, starred review
[An] absorbing novel…Hodgen’s magnificent, heart-breaking journey with its moving finish is an unforgettable novel, a must-read.
— Booklist, starred review
Knocked my socks off. It’s a first-person novel told in second-person looks back at five significant people she’s lost: a life told in deaths. Hodgen’s writing spins out dependent clauses like carefully controlled ripples of language.
— Caroline Stanley - Flavorwire
The protagonist is a nobody that everybody will root for.
— Colleen Hodgetts - Feminist Review
This book has heart…Christie Hodgen’s prose embodies the paradox of really fine fiction, which travels to the universal through the particular.
— Jeffrey Ann Goudie - Kansas City Star
Deep, dark, and beautiful, Christie Hodgen’s story of a fabulously flawed family reads like a quintessentially American tale.... The generational cast of quirky, yet completely believable characters, the heartbreak and redemption as time unfolds, and Hodgen’s biting humor and exquisite writing all add up to a tremendous novel. Book clubs: put this one on your lists.
— Lolly Winston, author of Happiness Sold Separately
Elegies for the Brokenhearted is brilliant, gorgeous, illuminated writing. Hodgen writes like a Christian mystic who has God speaking through her mingled with her own wild, lyrical mix of popular culture and high art. What a voice!
— Clancy Martin, author of How to Sell
This stellar novel shows us once again that Christie Hodgen is hilarious, hugely talented, and full of luminous passion. In inspired prose, she tells the stories of those who have strung themselves around the heart of Mary Murphy, that undefeated heroine who cannot stop speaking to her loved ones, long after they’ve left.
— Deb Olin Unferth, author of Vacation
W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393340235, 288pp.
Publication Date: July 18, 2011