The Miracle Girl (Hardcover)

By Andrew Roe

Algonquin Books, 9781616203603, 336pp.

Publication Date: April 21, 2015

List Price: 24.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Description

“An uplifting miracle of a book.”  —Will Allison, author of Long Drive Home

“A winning debut . . . Lively, pitch-perfect and assured . . . Roe’s story feels just right for our desperate and despairing time, when a miracle--any miracle--will do.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review


The crowds keep coming. More and more every day, drawn by rumor and whisper and desperate wish. They come to Shaker Street to see eight-year-old Anabelle Vincent, who lies in a coma-like state--unable to move or speak. They come because a visitor experienced what seemed like a miracle and believed it happened because of Anabelle. Word spreads. There are more visitors, more supposed miracles, more stories on TV and the Internet. But is this the divine at work or something else?

Set against the backdrop of the approaching millennium--with all its buzz about reckoning and doom--this impressive debut novel is told through the eyes of Anabelle’s devoted mother, who cares for her child while trying to make sense of the media frenzy surrounding her; Anabelle’s estranged father, who is dealing with the guilt of his actions; the Miracle Girl herself; and the visitors who seek her help, her guidance, and her healing.

Yet The Miracle Girl tells a larger story about the human yearning for something to believe in, and how finding the miraculous in the everyday can define us, exhilarate us, challenge us, and sustain us.

“To believe or not to believe--that is the question facing all who are touched by Anabelle, the comatose ‘miracle girl’ at the swirling center of Andrew Roe’s dazzling debut.” —Will Allison, author of Long Drive Home

“Incisive and insightful . . .  A novel about what it means to be human; to be lost or broken, a little or a lot; and to seek connection and hope and maybe even transcendence in the world around us.” —Doug Dorst, coauthor of S.

“Andrew Roe’s novel struggles to contain the breadth of the author’s talent. There is a precision and purpose in each sentence. The characters are steeped in complexity. These are people we all know, struggling with both the familiar and the magnificent. A stunning and captivating debut.” —Jason Mott, author of The Wonder of All Things

“A stunning, confident debut that examines the strange responsibility of being believed in.” —Peter Rock, author of My Abandonment


About the Author

Born and raised in the Los Angeles suburb of Whittier, California, Andrew Roe has had his fiction published in Tin House, One Story, the Sun, Glimmer Train, The Cincinnati Review, Slice, Pank, Avery Anthology, Gigantic, Freight Stories, Failbetter, the Good Men Project, and other literary magazines, as well as the anthologies Where Love Is Found and 24 Bar Blues. His nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Salon.com, SF Weekly, San Francisco Bay Guardian, and elsewhere. An alumnus of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers and Tin House Writer’s Workshop, he has received scholarships from the Getty Foundation and the San Francisco Foundation. Three of his short stories were performed by actors as part of the New Short Fiction Series, LA’s longest running spoken word series. Dan Chaon selected his story “Job History” for the Wigleaf Top 50 Very Short Fictions of 2012, and he has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize multiple times, including a One Story nomination for his story “America’s Finest City.” He earned a bachelor of arts degree in English/creative writing from San Diego State University, and a master of arts degree in literature from San Francisco State University. For over twenty years, he has worked as a writer and editor in the publishing and software industries. A member of PEN Center USA, he currently lives in Oceanside, California, with his wife and three children. 


Praise For The Miracle Girl

FINALIST: L.A. Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction

“[An] assured debut . . . Overfamiliarity has diluted the significance of the word ‘miracle’--used to describe diets, cures, even sandwich spread--but Roe suggests that the miraculous is a perpetual human craving. The Miracle Girl is a hopeful meditation on the mysteries of faith.” —The New York Times Book Review

“A treatise on modern religion and theology as well as a stunning exegesis of the world beyond our empirical nature, it is above all a wonderful study and story of the multi-faceted, often miraculous sides of human nature.”—Author Exposure

“Roe creates characters who feel real, who are beautiful and flawed and full of desire and regret and love and pain. He brings us into a world where terrible things happen to ordinary people and it’s hard not to want a miracle girl to save them. And, because we recognize this world, we want that miracle girl to be real, to save us, too.” —Arizona Daily Sun

“[A] “winning debut . . . Roe's story feels just right for our desperate and despairing time, when a miracle--any miracle--will do . . . Lively, pitch-perfect and assured.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Roe’s exploration of the need for belief makes for a strong debut.” —Booklist

“While the novel features a cast of lovable losers and fortune's fools right out of a Nathanael West novel, Roe's takes on hope, faith, and our willingness to believe makes The Miracle Girl a memorable debut.”—San Diego CityBeat

“An uplifting debut.” —Coastal Living

“Roe creates characters who feel real, who are beautiful and flawed and full of desire and regret and love and pain. He brings us into a world where terrible things happen to ordinary people and it’s hard not to want a miracle girl to save them. And, because we recognize this world, we want that miracle girl to be real, to save us, too” —Flagstaff Live 

“Andrew Roe’s novel struggles to contain the breadth of the author’s talent. There is a precision and purpose in each sentence. The characters are steeped in complexity. These are people we all know, struggling with both the familiar and the magnificent. A stunning and captivating debut.” —Jason Mott, author of The Wonder of All Things

“To believe or not to believe--that is the question facing all who are touched by Annabelle, the comatose ‘miracle girl’ at the swirling center of Andrew Roe's dazzling debut. But The Miracle Girl is more than an exploration of the mysteries of faith. It's also the unforgettable story of one family's struggle against tragedy. The result is an uplifting miracle of a book.” —Will Allison, author of Long Drive Home

“In Andrew Roe's The Miracle Girl, we're reminded that the desire for miracles always connotes dissatisfaction, even as it articulates a hope. Roe deftly explores this paradox with clean, sharp prose; the novel's intuitive, shifting structure (providing not only different character's perspectives but press releases, documents, and, really productively, comments on web message boards) generates a multifaceted exploration into what it means to believe. Also, Roe's novel examines the strange responsibility of being believed in. A stunning, confident debut.” —Peter Rock, author of The Shelter Cycle