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$17.00  $15.81
Publish Date
5.1 X 7.9 X 1.0 inches | 0.61 pounds
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About the Author

BUD SMITH works heavy construction in New Jersey. His story "Violets" appeared in The Paris Review.



Smith's prose is exceptional . . . You're able to follow along like one of your best friends is telling you a story . . . The juxtaposition between violence and tenderness in the book is stunning. Are they reckless? Yeah. Do they take things too far? Yeah. But I can't look back on my own adolescent years without thinking about all of the crazy impulses I had. Of course I'd want to hit the road with the person I love, saying screw everyone else, we can have everything we want . . . By the end of it, I felt like I had witnessed the rebirth of something--some spirit of Americana that's been missing, or maybe was always there but is now out in the open, rejuvenated and bright. Whatever it is, Bud Smith's prose made the world around me feel ethereal for a brief moment in time. --Blake Levario, Washington Square Review

Drawing on such symbols of Americana as Elvis Presley, Bonnie and Clyde, and Jack Kerouac's road tripping, Teenager is the sort of offbeat love story that proves Bud Smith can sit comfortably beside Denis Johnson as a poet laureate of rundown carnivals and dimly lit bars. --Chicago Review of Books

Read it on a plane, read it on the beach, and throw it into the ocean, and then buy another one. Read it to know where the American Dream has gone. This book is our new myth . . . Teenager is one of the few great books about teenagers because it is funny without condescension, sad without sentimentality, and has no moral at the end. It made me feel alive without lying to me . . . The whole thing rolls out like a beautiful song . . . Also, almost every chapter has a line illustration by Rae Buleri that would make an excellent tattoo. --Conor Hultman, The Local Voice (Mississippi)

One hell of a coming-of-age story. Smith has perfectly captured what it's like to be young, carefree, and making slightly stupid decisions along the way . . . You'll stay up reading in one binge. --Debutiful

"There is something raw and engaging about watching [Kody] do his best to try and prove himself against a futile position in life . . . We're conditioned to expect stories to have a clear direction, and so it's nice to break out of that, especially with something that is so real. Kody is constantly thinking the grass is going to be greener and is continually disappointed . . . The only thing [he] doesn't seem to tire of is Tella. And that depiction of love is all we need. In the end, that is the point." -- Joseph Edwin Haeger, The Big Smoke

A whirlwind journey through a mythic America . . . Smith has mixed violence with fable to create this modern-day tall tale about two teens who love each other and say to hell with everything else. Each small chapter is akin to a section from The Odyssey or Don Quixote, snapshots that could stand alone but merge together to create a greater story . . . A new American folktale with teeth. --Kirkus Reviews

Evokes the surreal contrasts of the American landscape in smart, jittery prose. Smith makes this a trip worth taking. --Publishers Weekly

"Hard to put down." --Booklist

Teenager won't make you want to be young again, but you may be shocked at what it awakens in you, the feelings and memories of long-buried past selves. Bud Smith asks us to not only remember those past selves, but to handle them gently. A rare novel that manages to be both sharp-edged and deeply romantic, classic yet wholly fresh. --Jean Kyoung Frazier, author of Pizza Girl

"Teenager is a great artistic high-wire act and a gift to readers who still care about the timeless problem of young men and women finding their place together in this world--or not. Should Tella get in another stolen car with Kody and flee with him to the Montana of his imagination? Both quests are represented here, hers and his, Yin and Yang, and Smith tells it all with ecstatic wit and feeling and innocence. To have captured this duality on paper demanded more than wildness, more than heart--all of which Smith has to burn--but also will and skill and ingenuity." --Atticus Lish, author of The War for Gloria

"From the Graceland mansion to an alpaca farm in Montana, from a chapel in the Grand Canyon to the ancient forests of California, this is a love story as epic and eccentric as America. In prose that crackles and sings off the page, Bud Smith has written a humorous and tender new classic." --Mary South, author of You Will Never Be Forgotten

"Abused when not neglected, and with no patience for self-pity, Teenager's Kody and Teal are the latest memorable additions to that venerable American tradition of They're young, they're in love, and they'll shoot if they have to, lighting out for the west and freedom. Wildly romantic, blithely clueless and always headlong, they're above all else passionately appreciative of the miracle of someone else having chosen, of all things, them, and everywhere they go they reveal, in all its doofy and intermittent heartlessness and lethality, the America that spawned them." --Jim Shepard, author of Phase Six

"Bud Smith is a classic writer who taps into the absurd skillfully. His dry, deft, enthusiastic language guts without being sentimental. Teenager is a study on the gnawing, American desire for escape; the lengths we will go to elude boredom, find love, and feel connected. From Tennessee to Montana, I'll follow Kody and Teal wherever they take me." --Halle Hill, author of Good Women

Written in sentences as spare and fine as line drawings, Teenager is a blood-soaked love story that is at once hopeless and hopeful, reckless yet redeeming. A ton of fun." --Lee Clay Johnson, author of Nitro Mountain

We could use more writers like Bud Smith. Teenager is a lovestruck, cross-country road-trip novel following a couple of ill-starred delinquents on the run from the olds; and though we have plenty of novels that tell that story, this is the only one we have from Bud Smith. And that's good. --Jonny Diamond, Literary Hub