In a war-torn village in Eastern Europe, an American photographer captures a heart-stopping image: a young girl flying toward the lens, fleeing a fiery explosion that has engulfed her home and family. The image wins acclaim and prizes, becoming an icon for millions - and a subject of obsession for one writer, the photographer's best friend, who has suffered a devastating tragedy of her own. As the writer plunges into a suicidal depression, her filmmaker husband enlists several friends, including a fearless, bisexual poet and an ingenuous performance artist, to save her by rescuing the unknown girl and bringing her to the United States. And yet, as their plot unfolds, everything we know about the story comes into question: What does the writer really want? Who is controlling the action? And what will happen when these two worlds - East and West, real and virtual - collide?
A fierce, provocative, and deeply affecting novel of both ideas and action that blends the tight construction of Julian Barnes's The Sense of an Ending with the emotional power of Anthony Marra's A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, Lidia Yuknavitch's The Small Backs of Children is a major step forward from one of our most avidly watched writers.
©2015 Lidia Yuknavitch (P)2015 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books
This author just tries way too hard 1) to be poetic; 2) to be shocking; 3) to be experimental. For me, the end result was a fragmented mess with moments of fine language. I came to the book expecting it to be similar to The Cellist of Sarajevo or A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, a novel with a message about war, but no. I got very tired of the blood, blood, blood, menstrual blood, painting with menstrual blood, post-rape blood, kinky sex blood, photographs of blood, bloody limbs--well, you get the point. Not to mention the detailed descriptions of sex, most of which was sado-masochistic, If there was a message here, I guess I'm just not cool enough to get it. Thankfully.
The reader used the same flat, emotionless, monotone voice that I've heard at many poetry readings. Hated it there, hated it here.
My only regret is that I didn't try this one out before the time to return it and get my credit back had expired.
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