The Wallcreeper

(Author)
Available

Product Details

Price
$16.00
Publisher
Dorothy a Publishing Project
Publish Date
Pages
200
Dimensions
5.6 X 7.1 X 0.7 inches | 0.4 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
EAN/UPC
9780989760713
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Nell Zink grew up in rural Virginia. She has worked in a variety of trades, including masonry and technical writing. In the early 1990s, she edited an indie rock fanzine. Her books include The Wallcreeper, Mislaid, Private Novelist, and Nicotine, and her writing has appeared in n+1, Granta, and Harper's. She lives near Berlin, Germany.

Reviews

Kirkus, 7/30/14, Starred Review. Zink's cerebral, fast-paced first novel chronicles a young woman's life in Europe after marrying a man she's known for three weeks. Following her husband, Stephen, from Philadelphia to Bern, Switzerland, for his research and development job at a medical device firm, Tiffany explains, "We didn't talk much about what we were doing. We had a deal." They're both whip-smart, but strangers, and the "deal" for Tiffany in this dark, philosophical sex comedy goes sour from the word go. After Stephen hits a bird with the car, swerves and crashes into a large rock, Tiffany miscarries, and he worries more about capturing the bird--the wallcreeper of the title--than helping her; weeks later, he forces her into anal sex. "I gasped for air, dreading the moment when he would pull out, and thought, Girls are lame." She half-jokes, "I felt like the Empress Theodora. Can I get more orifices?" but notes, "My sense of depending on Stephen for my happiness had evaporated." He does offer stability, though, so she stays married since she'd rather not work and has no degree or experience to bank on. They have affairs openly, and after his career goes sideways (drugs, heavy birding), their love survives, mostly as a hypnotic ideal. Moving to Germany, they live apart and become environmental activists, navigating complex public policy on natural resources--a subject Zink mines for humor and a sociopolitical counterpoint to Tiffany's personal chaos--then reunite for a harrowing trek by donkey through Albania. Tiffany agrees she's no feminist and doesn't argue when a friend quips about her life's trajectory, "My love, you have the attention span of a fish." But at a remove from the uproarious, inventive and infinitely quotable sentences, Tiffany's lonely existence careens from sex toward self-knowledge as death breezes by late in the book. A brief yet masterful novel of epic breadth.
Publishers Weekly, 07/21/2014, Starred Review. Zink's debut novel is a weird, funny, sad, and sharp story of growing up. Opening with a car accident in which young married couple Tiffany and Stephen hit a wallcreeper (a bird that Stephen, a fanatical birder, adopts as a pet and names Rudolf), causing Tiffany to miscarry, the bulk of the novel follows the couple's push-and-pull years in Europe. Stephen, a stubborn and secretive pharmaceutical researcher stationed in Berne, makes enough money to support both of them; and Tiffany, who was bored at her last real job as a secretary, makes no bones about not wanting to work. In many ways, Tiffany and Stephen are the perfect match: they are both capricious, unfaithful (Stephen even sleeps with Tiffany's "bikini barista" sister, with Tiffany's blessing), and unsure of themselves. Their marriage is really just a loose agreement, and they spend most of the story drifting around each other: Stephen suffers an inner crisis and moves to Albania to study birds, while Tiffany, who's never had to work hard, passes her days alone on the Elbe tearing down levees to flood a forest in need of water. "I couldn't come up with a step I'd taken in life for my own sake," she says. Written in short, fragmentary sections, Zink masterfully captures the slippery nature of human intimacy, the ways in which relationships both thrive on emotional gray areas and jump from one black-and-white area to another (jealousy and indifference; blame and forgiveness; listlessness and wonder). This is the introduction of an exciting new voice.
Nell Zink s heady and rambunctious debut novel . . . moves at breakneck speed . . . Wake up, this book says: in its plot lines, in its humor, in its philosophical underpinnings and political agenda. I ll pay it the highest compliment it knows this book is a wild thing. NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
"Zink s debut novel doesn t need a celebrity blurb...Its premise is so good it endorses itself..." WIRED
Peppered with witty one-liners, Zink s portrayal of a young American couple that moves to Europe is strange, hilarious, and utterly captivating. HARPERS BAZAAR
A brief yet masterful novel of epic breadth. KIRKUS REVIEW (STARRED REVIEW)
Zink s debut novel is a weird, funny, sad, and sharp story of growing up. . . . the introduction of an exciting new voice. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (STARRED REVIEW)
Nell Zink might be the best living writer you haven t heard of yet, but prepare to hear her name a lot. PAPERMAG
A strange, funny, super-engaging book. BUSTLE
A manic, heartfelt, intellectual novel about an American couple living in Europe, The Wallcreeper is one of the best books of the year. FICTION ADVOCATE
It s a major debut, one that proves its author is gifted, strangely and beguilingly, with no shortage of honesty and eloquence. FLAVORWIRE"
"Nell Zink's heady and rambunctious debut novel . . . moves at breakneck speed . . . Wake up, this book says: in its plot lines, in its humor, in its philosophical underpinnings and political agenda. I'll pay it the highest compliment it knows -- this book is a wild thing." NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
"Zink's debut novel doesn't need a celebrity blurb...Its premise is so good it endorses itself..." WIRED
"Peppered with witty one-liners, Zink's portrayal of a young American couple that moves to Europe is strange, hilarious, and utterly captivating." HARPERS BAZAAR
"A brief yet masterful novel of epic breadth." KIRKUS REVIEW (STARRED REVIEW)
"Zink's debut novel is a weird, funny, sad, and sharp story of growing up. . . . the introduction of an exciting new voice." PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (STARRED REVIEW)
"Nell Zink might be the best living writer you haven't heard of yet, but prepare to hear her name a lot." PAPERMAG
"A strange, funny, super-engaging book." BUSTLE
"A manic, heartfelt, intellectual novel about an American couple living in Europe, The Wallcreeper is one of the best books of the year." FICTION ADVOCATE
"It's a major debut, one that proves its author is gifted, strangely and beguilingly, with no shortage of honesty and eloquence." FLAVORWIRE