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THE BONES OF GARBO
PRIVATE CORRESPONDENCES



The Bones of Garbo
Copyright © 2003
by Trudy Lewis
Ohio State University Press
How to Buy

The Bones of Garbo rattles skeletons in the house of fiction. These stories revel in sexual experiment and linguistic play. Lewis finds her subjects on the wrong side of the sheets and the tracks, in marginal neighborhoods where characters confront the cost of motherhood, the mystery of desire and the pain of invasion, the meaning of race and tribe. Ultimately, these seekers reach connection by way of confrontation. In “Waiting Period,” a couple creates their own commitment ritual when they go together to take an AIDS test; in “Goddess Love,” a young woman struggles with an otherworldly attraction toward her pagan roommate; in “All Hallow's Leaves,” an African American teenager meets his demons in a fundamentalist haunted house. Lewis is relentless but compassionate, and her fiction mixes bitter herbs and honey on the tongue. In the title story, "Bones of Garbo", a teenage girl aspiring to be an actress and undergoing her first role as an ingénue, treats the reader to the life and loves of Greta Garbo as her own “coming of age” story unfolds.
“From the “Marijuana Tree” to “Evacuation Route,” these stories are luminous and fanciful, but also grounded in the all-too-real wounds and dramas that make up our regular come and go. The book brims with smart arresting observation. — from the jacket

The Bones of Garbo is by turns playful and haunting, magical and real. Trudy Lewis has an amazing talent for turning a detail until the commonplace becomes extraordinary and the strange becomes familiar. They fix us with a penetrating light, and what we see are the shadow lives we lead. For this reason alone, The Bones of Garbo is necessary reading. Trudy Lewis is a wise and wonderful writer, and her stories are unforgettable. — Lee Martin

These are very nervy, funny, wonderfully written stories. Trudy Lewis's work is a gift and a pleasure. — Pam Durban

Like jazz improvisations, Trudy Lewis's stories take off into the complexities of the current scene, exploring race and gender, the range of women's sexual experience. Her female characters are wholly themselves in whatever they confront, and with her sharp eye, ready wit, and wonderful talent for language, Lewis creates a dazzling array. — Gladys Swan


Private Correspondences
Copyright © 1994
by Trudy Lewis
Triquarterly/Northwestern UP
How to Buy

This visceral, unforgettable first novel explores the dark awakening of female sexuality in a violent male atmosphere of politics, familial decay, and studied barbarism. ... Lewis is perceptive; her vision is razor sharp in slicing away the counterfeit differences separating victim from abuser here. This is neither a suspense novel nor a horror thriller; it is a brilliantly conceived account of the innocence and complicity with which a young woman enters a world of masculine fanaticism and abuse. — Booklist

A nicely pointed first novel. — Kirkus Reviews

Winner of TriQuarterly's 1994 William Goyen prize for fiction, this powerful debut novel explores the hidden niches of cruelty, lust, political corruption and misogyny. ... With perfectly pitched dialogue and a story grounded in details of contemporary manners and mores — from rock music to sexual harassment in the political arena — Lewis's shattering study of sexual violence and individual vulnerability is both timely and universally resonant. — Publishers Weekly

Private Correspondences is a moral thunderclap. ... In prose that swings between lyrical moments of illumination and gritty sexual insight, Lewis explores the dark heart of a misogynist culture. Stark, powerful, impossible to forget, Private Correspondences is a major work by a gifted and thrilling new writer. — Midwest Book Review


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