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Bound by Antonya Nelson.. If you haven’t discovered this writer, now’s the time. High-minded craft meets Middle America, with a quirky eye. A tough, cool girlhood friendship is revisited in this novel about fate’s fickle hand. Bonus serial killer subplot.

Joel Gardner, LitSnap Editor

"Nelson returns to the novel after a decade with heightened authority. Tightly coiled, edgy, and funny, this complex tale of transcendent friendship begins with a spectacular death: Misty, a single mother, drives off a cliff. Her surviving daughter, Cattie, is named after Catherine, Misty’s best friend way back when they were young and wild in Wichita. Misty was poor and scrappy; pretty Catherine was the daughter of professors. Wealthy, childless, and married to her much older third husband, philandering Oliver, Catherine is still contending with her rigorous mother’s piercing disapproval even though a stroke has stolen Grace’s ability to speak. It’s a shock to learn that Misty is dead, that she had a daughter, and that Catherine is her namesake’s guardian. Cattie runs away from her Vermont boarding school, embarking on a cross-country odyssey as risky, if not as much fun, as the mad adventures her mother and Catherine miraculously survived. With the supreme recklessness of teen girls, Oliver’s farcical yet poignant dilemmas, Grace’s toughness, a resurgent serial killer, an AWOL soldier, and compelling canine characters, Nelson’s sleekly powerful turbine of a novel riffs cannily on the many meanings of “bound.”."


"Antonya Nelson wields words with breathtaking precision in Bound… This is no heartwarming makeshift-family-bonding story; Nelson has something truer in mind. Turning tiny moments into revelations, she brilliantly exposes the fears and delusions that drive people to rationalize destructive choices…[A] wise exploration of the war between our worst impulses and our better selves.."

O Magazine

Author bio: Antonya attended the University of Kansas and the University of Arizona, where she received an MFA in 1986. She is the author of four short story collections: Female Trouble [2002], Family Terrorists [1994], In the Land of Men [1992], and The Expendables [1990].  She is also the author of three novels: Living to Tell [2000], Nobody’s Girl [1998] and Talking in Bed [1996]. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, Harpers, Redbook and other magazines, as wells as in anthologies such as Prize Stories, the O. Henry Awards, and Best American Short Stories. The Expendables won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction in 1990 and Talking in Bed received the 1996 Heartland Award in fiction. Her books have been New York Times notable books in 1992, 1996, 1998, 2000, and 2002, and she recently was named by The New Yorker as one of the “twenty young fiction writers for the new millennium.” She is the recipient of an National Endowment for the Arts grant and 2000-2001 Guggenheim Fellowship. She divides her time between Telluride, Colorado, and Houston Texas, where she shares, with her husband novelist Robert Boswell, the Cullen Chair in Creative Writing at the University of Houston. More information can be found here:

Book Details: Thriller; 231 pp. Swift, captivating: Kindle/Audiobook/Print editions

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