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Francine Prose
My New American Life
 
 
Author
Francine Prose.
Publisher Harper  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.25 x 6.3 x 1 inches
ISBN 9780061713767
Pages/Publication Date 306/2011
Daedalus Item Code 31598
List Price: $25.99
Sale Price: $4.98
You Save: $21.01
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Description
Lula, a 26-year-old Albanian woman in New York City on an expiring tourist visa, hopes to make a better life for herself in America, in this 2011 novel from the author of the National Book Award finalist Blue Angel. When Lula lands an au pair job, supervising a rebellious student in suburban New Jersey, it seems that the American dream may finally be within reach. But things take a sinister turn when Lula's Albanian "brothers" show up in a black SUV to remind her that all Albanians are family—and that Lula's family has a very serious favor to ask. Set in the aftermath of 9/11, this is a biting and darkly humorous portrait of an era when dreams and ideals began to give way to cynicism, fear, and questions about what it means to be an American.

"Prose succeeds by transforming anxiety into compassion—it's a little lever that gets tripped when we truly imagine what another person feels."—LATimes

"Prose spins the many straws of American culture into a golden tale, shimmering with hilarious, if blistering, satire."—Washington Post

"Whenever Lula feels pressure from Don, her heroic immigration lawyer; or Mister Stanley, her melancholy employer; or Zeke, his moody teenage son; she offers a wry observation about how brutal life is in her native Albania to ensure their sympathy. She also needs to remind herself to be grateful for living legally in the U.S., in spite of how lonely and bored she is working as a nanny in New Jersey. Lula doesn't do much, since Zeke is old enough to be applying to college, but his father doesn't want him home alone after his imbalanced mother's abrupt disappearance. Between trips to Guantánamo, Don encourages Lula to write a memoir titled My New American Life, a clever setup that allows Prose great freedom in crafting Lula's comically ironic and heartbreakingly guileless voice. In deftly choreographed scenes of caustic hilarity, from awkward meals to fumbled romance, Prose articulates both Lula's hopefulness and homesickness as she contends with Mister Stanley and Zeke's despair, Don's righteous indignation, and the frightening demands of three Albanian guys who show up in a black Lexus SUV. Prose is dazzling in her sixteenth book of spiky fiction, a fast-flowing, bittersweet, brilliantly satirical immigrant story that subtly embodies the cultural complexity and political horrors of the Balkans and Bush-Cheney America."—Booklist (starred review)

 
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