A Tiny Upward Shove


Product Details

$27.00  $25.11
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publish Date
5.75 X 8.59 X 1.2 inches | 0.99 pounds
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About the Author

Melissa Chadburn's writing has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times Book Review, The New York Review of Books, The Paris Review Daily, The Best American Food Writing, and many other publications. Her extensive reporting on the child welfare system appears in the Netflix docuseries The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez. Melissa is a worker lover and through her own labor and literary citizenship strives to upend economic violence. Her mother taught her how to sharpen a pencil with a knife and she's basically been doing that ever since. She is a Ph.D. candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Southern California and lives in greater Los Angeles.


A Best Book of the Year: New York magazine
A Best Book of the Month: Buzzfeed, Nylon
A Most Anticipated Book of the Year: The Millions, Ms. Magazine
A Most Anticipated Book of the Month: Electric Literature, The Los Angeles Times, Alta, Bustle, The National Book Review, Apartment Therapy

"Brilliant and terrifyingly honest . . . A stunning debut novel about the hardest things, drawing on style, study and tough experience to make it impossible for us to look away."
--Bethanne Patrick, The Los Angeles Times

"Wild and ambitious . . . [A Tiny Upward Shove] succeeds because of the exuberance of the aswang's voice and the richness of the details . . . [There is] a joy evident in the writing, something ablaze at its core. It burns."
--Erin Somers, The New York Times Book Review

"Startlingly unconventional . . . A harrowing and utterly unforgettable story."
--Tope Folarin, New York magazine

"Outrageously ambitious, complex and deeply sorrowful . . . . The prose plunges fearlessly, restlessly, often violent, sometimes playful . . . Ferocious."
--Jackie Thomas-Kennedy, Star Tribune

"Powerful . . . [for] its dagger-sharp voice and Chadburn's startling talent . . . It's extraordinary, propulsive: unputdownable."
--Anita Felicelli, Alta

"Wrenching . . . A genuine, powerful work of fiction that speaks to life for those on society's margins."
--The National Book Review

"[Captures] the mixture of hopelessness, longing, liability, and a base need for love that makes us human . . . A Tiny Upward Shove is as sensational as it is heartbreaking."
--Caitlin Stout, The Chicago Review of Books

"Chadburn inhabits her novel with ease, pulling off blistering fiction while hewing to ugly realities dredged up through her journalism."
--Martha Anne Toll, Los Angeles Review of Books

"Chadburn's debut novel is a magical realism-infused literary feast . . . Her novel deftly captures poverty and victimization of youth in vivid and heartbreaking scenarios . . . Indelible and devastating . . . A haunting tale of grit and fate."
--Adrienne Cruz, Booklist (starred review)

"Unforgettable . . . Bold . . . To categorize the novel is to rob it of its complexity and power. A Tiny Upward Shove is best appreciated by letting its language sing."
--Mara Sandroff, Newcity

"Original, heartbreaking."
--Tomi Obaro, Buzzfeed

"[An] astonishing debut . . . [Chadburn's] poetic language enthralls . . . Electrifying."
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Electrifying . . . Writing with remarkable grace, even surprising moments of transporting joy, Chadburn creates a miraculous literary platform to claim these [missing and murdered women's] stories . . . [A] sensational, terrifying debut."
--Terry Hong, Shelf Awareness

"Engaging and heartbreaking . . . A dark, powerful novel."
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"A Tiny Upward Shove is gloriously voiced, the kind of addictive and headlong novel that makes reading into a wild bronco ride. Melissa Chadburn has it, the spark; her first novel is strange and tender and not to be missed."
--Lauren Groff, author of Matrix

"Every line carries music, emotional weight, philosophical insight, and punk rock glory."
--Amber Dermont, author of Damage Control

"A beautiful and brave novel about powerlessness, longing, and that universal, unavoidable desire to be loved. Let this book happen to you."
--Edan Lepucki, author of If You're Not Yet Like Me

"A novel that grabs your attention and won't let it go--fueled by a wild, jagged energy and an exuberant mixing of cultures and a narrator whose frank, poignant voice will keep echoing in your head."
--Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, author of Likes

"In its verve, vibrancy, and sheer reckless energy, Chadburn's writing recalls a number of wonders: Ondaatje's Running in the Family, say, or Kincaid's At the Bottom of the River. Chadburn's vision, however, her intelligence and empathy, are entirely her own."
--Matthew Specktor, author of American Dream Machine

"An engrossingly raw but tenderly vulnerable voice. Chadburn brings to vivid life a character stained by cruelty, but who has the last word."
--Lisa Ling, coauthor of Somewhere Inside

"A fiercely original, brave writer. Chadburn finds the lyrical and the deeply human in seemingly dark and impenetrable landscapes."
--Héctor Tobar, author of The Last Great Road Bum