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Shout Her Lovely Name
Cover of Shout Her Lovely Name
Shout Her Lovely Name
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Short stories that are "achingly true to life when it comes to the many ways mothers and daughters grow together and apart, over and over again" (O, The Oprah Magazine).

"Mothers and daughters go at it in the way only mothers and daughters can, with full hearts and claws out, in Natalie Serber's funny, bittersweet collection" of short fiction named a New York Times Notable Book (Vanity Fair).

In a battle between a teenager and her mother, wheat bread and plain yogurt become weapons. An aimless college student, married to her much older professor, sneaks cigarettes while caring for their newborn son. On the eve of her husband's fiftieth birthday, a pilfered fifth of rum, an unexpected tattoo, and rogue teenagers leave a woman questioning her place. And in a suite of stories, we follow capricious, ambitious single mother Ruby and her cautious, steadfast daughter, Nora, through their tumultuous life—stray men, stray cats, and psychedelic drugs—in 1970s California.

"The characters are irresistible . . . Serber writes with exquisite patience and sensitivity, and is an expert in the many ways that love throws people together and splits them apart, often at the same time." —TheWall Street Journal

"From its first page, Serber's debut collection plunges us into the humid heat and lightning of a perfect storm: that of American mothers and daughters struggling for power, love, meaning, and identity. . . . Serber's writing sparkles: practical, strong, brazenly modern, marbled with superb descriptions." —San Francisco Chronicle

"Mothers and daughters burst from these pages in stories about food, boyfriends, birthdays, husbands and more." —Houston Chronicle

"In the tradition of Lorrie Moore and Tobias Wolff, Natalie Serber's stories uncover the secret hearts of seemingly ordinary people. Funny, heart-felt, and keenly perceptive, this is a book worth shouting about." —Dan Chaon, author of If I Loved You I Would Tell You This

Short stories that are "achingly true to life when it comes to the many ways mothers and daughters grow together and apart, over and over again" (O, The Oprah Magazine).

"Mothers and daughters go at it in the way only mothers and daughters can, with full hearts and claws out, in Natalie Serber's funny, bittersweet collection" of short fiction named a New York Times Notable Book (Vanity Fair).

In a battle between a teenager and her mother, wheat bread and plain yogurt become weapons. An aimless college student, married to her much older professor, sneaks cigarettes while caring for their newborn son. On the eve of her husband's fiftieth birthday, a pilfered fifth of rum, an unexpected tattoo, and rogue teenagers leave a woman questioning her place. And in a suite of stories, we follow capricious, ambitious single mother Ruby and her cautious, steadfast daughter, Nora, through their tumultuous life—stray men, stray cats, and psychedelic drugs—in 1970s California.

"The characters are irresistible . . . Serber writes with exquisite patience and sensitivity, and is an expert in the many ways that love throws people together and splits them apart, often at the same time." —TheWall Street Journal

"From its first page, Serber's debut collection plunges us into the humid heat and lightning of a perfect storm: that of American mothers and daughters struggling for power, love, meaning, and identity. . . . Serber's writing sparkles: practical, strong, brazenly modern, marbled with superb descriptions." —San Francisco Chronicle

"Mothers and daughters burst from these pages in stories about food, boyfriends, birthdays, husbands and more." —Houston Chronicle

"In the tradition of Lorrie Moore and Tobias Wolff, Natalie Serber's stories uncover the secret hearts of seemingly ordinary people. Funny, heart-felt, and keenly perceptive, this is a book worth shouting about." —Dan Chaon, author of If I Loved You I Would Tell You This

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About the Author-
  • Natalie Serber received an MFA from Warren Wilson College. Her work has appeared in The Bellingham Review and Gulf Coast, among others, and her awards include the Tobias Wolff Award. She teaches writing at various universities and lives with her family in Portland, Oregon.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 5, 2012
    Serber’s intense debut collection would have been better had every story, rather than most of them, traced Ruby Hargrove’s evolution from daughter to mother, and her own daughter Nora’s reactions to her questionable parenting. After an uneven opening story about a mother and her teenager daughter’s eating disorder, we come to “Ruby Jewel,” about a college girl reluctantly having drinks with her philandering, alcoholic father. As the plot progresses, Ruby gets pregnant, tries to make it work with the baby’s father, and is finally abandoned when she changes her mind about adoption. So begins Ruby and Nora’s life together, a blur of constant moving and a revolving door of men. Serber deftly puts the spotlight on key moments of Nora’s upbringing: an adopted stray cat is thrown out for ruining Ruby’s things; Nora’s tough schoolgirl friends turn to Ruby for help ; Ruby flirts with Nora’s older boyfriend. Serber’s adroit turns of phrase and the short story format enhance the emotional intensity of familiar scenarios while keeping them from seeming rote, but the form has its pitfalls. An engaging story about a mother comforting an orphaned baby on a plane splits the book down the middle, and another stand-alone story ends it. Despite those stories’ clear thematic ties to the collection as a whole, readers will miss Ruby and Nora.

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    Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Shout Her Lovely Name
Shout Her Lovely Name
Natalie Serber
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