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The glittering new book from the author hailed by the Chicago Tribune as "unique, intriguing, and often hilarious." Here are the events that make up a life: a junior high school fashion crisis, a best friend's betrayal, substance abuse, recovery, finding a satisfying career, dating fiascos, the perfect relationship, the illness and slow death of a parent. This is the life of Charlotte Anne Byers, told by Elizabeth Crane, whose debut, When the Messenger Is Hot, has been praised across the country for its humor and grace. From the time she moved to New York as a young girl, desperate to tame her ridiculed southern accent, Charlotte Anne Byers has struggled to fit in-even while her strong will makes her clash with everything and everyone around her. With her mother pursuing a career as an opera singer and her father returning to Iowa, Charlotte is caught in the divide between her parents' dreams. She finds a touchstone in Jenna, a friend who will be by Charlotte's side through the death of her mother, several failed career moves, even more failed romances, a detour into alcoholism, and finding true love. In her lifetime Charlotte finds hope and disappointment mingled with faith and desperation, laughter on the heels of weeping, and success assuaging the pain of the most embarrassing failures-her path both all her own and instantly familiar. All This Heavenly Glory confirms Elizabeth Crane's talents as the writer the San Francisco Chronicle called "hilariously off kilter and utterly refreshing." With whimsy, skepticism, and undaunted emotional frankness, she paints a dazzling portrait of one woman's unique desires and heartbreaks.
A witty and irresistible story of a mother and daughter regarding each other through the looking glass of time, grief, and forgiveness. In two beautifully counterpoised narratives, two women--mother and daughter--try to make sense of their own lives by revisiting what they know about each other. The History of Great Things tells the entwined stories of Lois, a daughter of the Depression Midwest who came to New York to transform herself into an opera star, and her daughter, Elizabeth, an aspiring writer who came of age in the 1970s and '80s in the forbidding shadow of her often-absent, always larger-than-life mother. In a tour de force of storytelling and human empathy, Elizabeth chronicles the events of her mother's life, and in turn Lois recounts her daughter's story--pulling back the curtain on lifelong secrets, challenging and interrupting each other, defending their own behavior, brandishing or swallowing their pride, and, ultimately, coming to understand each other in a way that feels both extraordinary and universal. The History of Great Things is a novel about a mother and daughter who are intimately connected and not connected enough; it will make readers laugh and cry and wonder how we become the adults we always knew we should--even if we're not always adults our parents understand.
When practical-minded, no-nonsense Renata O'Neal began to have trouble sleeping, she decided hypnotism was the obvious answer to her problem. But when the doctor put her under, and she found herself in another time and place, about to be married to a devastatingly handsome stranger, Renata decided that either her therapist was losing his mind, or she was! Unable to return to her own era, Renata found life a tangled web back in 1880's Louisiana. Her unforeseen marriage to Nathan Blue was threatened by secrets she was only beginning to fathom, and her growing passion for her new husband was hampered by Victorian morals, which proclaimed a woman must perform her wifely duty,, but never enjoy it. Despite the gulf between them, Renata vowed that nothing would keep her from the most deliciously alluring man she'd known in one hundred years!
A voodoo doll and an ancient spell whisk thoroughly modern Jody Farnell from a decaying antebellum mansion to the Old South and a true Southern gentleman who shows her the magic of love.
A funny and moving debut novel that follows four generations of a singularly weird American family, all living under one roof, as each member confronts a moment of crisis in a narrative told through a uniquely quirky, charming, and unforgettable voice. Acclaimed short story writer Elizabeth Crane, well known to public radio listeners for her frequent and captivating contributions to WBEZ Chicago's Writer's Block Party, delivers a sublime, poignant, and often hilarious first novel, perfect for fans of Jessica Anya Blau's The Summer of Naked Swim Parties and Heather O'Neill's Lullabies for Little Criminals."Crane has a distinctive and eccentric voice that is consistent and riveting." -New York Times Book Review
Through the female protagonists in When the Messenger is Hot, Elizabeth Crane examines life, often through slightly off-kilter situations, leading her reader through a series of witty, often close to monologues, and quirky events. In the end her characters experience love and loss in ways that are both uniquely theirs and universal.
Whether breathlessly enthusiastic, serenely calm, or really concentrating right now on their personal zombie issues, Elizabeth Crane's happy cast explores the complexities behind personal satisfaction. Elizabeth Crane is the author of two previous story collections, When the Messenger is Hot and All This Heavenly Glory. Her work has also been featured in numerous publications, including Chicago Reader and The Believer, as well as several anthologies, including McSweeney's Future Dictionary of America and The Best Underground Fiction. A winner of the Chicago Public Library's 21st Century Award, Crane teaches creative writing at Northwestern's School of Continuing Studies, The School of the Art Institute, and The University of Chicago. She lives in Chicago.
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