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Description - Newfangled by Debra Monroe

Maddie, a refugee from two marriages, wanders from place to place seeking new options and new connections. She eventually settles in a cozy old neighbourhood in Tucson, gets a job, and contemplates her life so far: she has a mother who's been missing for two decades, a father she rarely sees, two sisters married to the same men for fifteen years, and a circle of quirky, spiteful, and loyal friends. Just as she's trying to decide whether she's actually 'at home' in Tucson, she receives a phone call that sends her on another journey, one that takes her both physically and emotionally into the past and affords her a glimpse of a newfangled future.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780684851976
ISBN-10: 0684851970
Format: Paperback
(203mm x 133mm x 17mm)
Pages: 304
Imprint: Scribner
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publish Date: 24-Feb-2000
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions - Newfangled by Debra Monroe

Book Reviews - Newfangled by Debra Monroe

US Kirkus Review » An incisive, if at times overly complex, view of the disintegration of a modern family - in a first novel from the author of two story collections (A Wild, Cold State, 1995, etc.). Maidie, twice divorced and in her mid-30s, is the newly hired curator of the Museum of Domestic History and Home Economy (soon to be renamed the Women's History Museum) in Tucson. Having walked out on her abusive last husband, Maidie views the new job as a fresh start. Ironically enough, she is a sociologist specializing in family dynamics, despite the fact that she hasn't come close to creating an ordinary family of her own. Her mother, raised motherless herself, abandoned Maidie and her two sisters as children, leaving the young girls in the care of their father and the kindly old couple next door to their home in Minnesota. Memories of the past, of her failed romances, and of the extended families that converge on those recollections intrude on Maidie's current life, coloring the flesh start she hoped to make. In her first days in Tucson, meanwhile, she meets the sexy, if much older, Rex, who rents antiques from the museum for film props, and she also inadvertently becomes part of the large extended family that takes up much of the neighborhood she lives in. As Maidie slips into this new tribe, spending a lot of her time with the clan's eccentric matriarch, she begins to feel restless, then finds herself yearning for yet another new start - somewhere else. When a phone call from her mother, whom she hasn't spoken with in over 20 years, beckons her to California, Maidie is finally compelled to face her complex and conflicted feelings about families and independence. Overburdened with flashbacks, which slow the pace, but a debut that nonetheless raises pertinent questions about the fate of modern-day families, and offers some answers in an agreeably sardonic tone. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Debra Monroe

Debra Monroe, the winner of the Flannery O'Connor Award for short fiction, is an associate professor in the MFA program at Southwest Texas State University and is the author of The Source of Trouble and A Wild, Cold State. She lives in Wimberley, Texas.

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