—BOLDTYPE

“A beautiful debut novel.”
“Like a latter day Eve, our heroine's desire for wisdom yields serious consequences.”
“The result is a novel far richer than the familiar ambrosial coming of age tale. Without a shred of irony or preciousness, her writing straightforwardly provokes the senses.”
“Ultimately, Evie's story emphasizes that it is an artist's responsibility to allow herself a courageous and conscientious life, in which no observation is too small to be measured, and no love too difficult to enlighten.”

A beautiful debut novel that ventures inside the mind and soul of a young American girl. In this launch title from the tiny Vernacular Press, we accompany Eveline Aster Auerbach through the complex years spanning ages 17 through 22, witnessing the young artist's sensual and intellectual ripening. Although Evie may invite death in the first chapter, the remaining 500-plus pages of her story erupt with life. Obsessively observant, Evie considers every nuance of her environment as a burgeoning artist must. In a coherent stream of consciousness, she details her painful genesis: enduring the ridiculousness of high school; making love for the first time; being raped by two boys; having an abortion; suffering a miserable marriage. Fortunately, Hamann avoids employing a sentimental crescendo to strike the high notes of young drama. The result is a novel far richer than the familiar ambrosial coming of age tale. Without a shred of irony or preciousness, her writing straightforwardly provokes the senses. We smell the Jersey shore from the hood of a rumbling GTO, hear Van Morrison and Bruce Springsteen on the eight track, feel the uncultured hands of young lovers, and taste one-too-many drinks at a hostile pool party. Like a latter day Eve, our heroine's desire for wisdom yields serious consequences. Evie overindulges in love affairs as a means to self-knowledge: there's teenage love with Jack, an intense musician; complicated love with Rourke, a sexy, older boxer; and disappointing, married love with the abusive Mark.  Ultimately, Evie's story emphasizes that it is an artist's responsibility to allow herself a courageous and conscientious life, in which no observation is too small to be measured, and no love too difficult to enlighten.

http://boldtype.com/issues/may2005/index.html#hamann

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