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Bonnie Nadzam Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

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Love in the Anthropocene(2015)Description / Buy at Amazon

Bonnie Nadzam
Bonnie Nadzam was born in Cleveland, Ohio, attended school in Chicago and has moved westward ever since then. She has a BA in English Literature and Environmental Studies from Carleton College; a Master of Fine Arts from Arizona State University; and an MA and PhD from the University of Southern California. She’s also taught creative writing at Colorado College.

Bonnie’s short stories have been published in Harper’s, Granta, The Paris Review Daily, Orion, The Kenyon Review, The Iowa Review, Coffin Factory, and several other magazines.

“Lamb” was long listed for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction and the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. It won the 2011 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize. It was also made into an award winning independent movie with the same name that starred Oona Laurence and Ross Partridge. “Lions” was a finalist for the PEN USA Literary Award in Fiction.

“Lamb” was originally going to be about a relationship between two adults, however this CNN report about a child abuser’s arrest prompted her to rethink it. Bonnie was just so fascinated by how this man could do something and known that it was horrible at the same time. No one in her circle of family and friends wanted to even talk about it, which just made her want to talk about it that much more.

Replacing the woman with a young girl transformed the narrative, even though the scenes where Lamb and Tommie get physically close were uncomfortable and difficult for her to write.

But the drive to explore the nuances of their relationship fueled her progress forward. She was interested in the way that, even though we know Lamb to be a manipulative liar, there is a bit of truth to the things that he tells Tommie.

“Lamb” is the first stand alone novel and was released in 2011. “Lamb” traces David Lamb’s self-discovery. David is a middle aged (54 years old) narcissist with a tendency toward dishonesty, during the weeks after the disintegration of his marriage and his dad’s death. Hoping he can regain a bit of faith in his own goodness, he turns his attention to this unpopular and awkward eleven year old girl named Tommie.

Lamb is certain that he can help her avoid a destiny of emptiness and apathy, and even comes to believe that his devotion to Tommie is in her own best interest. However once Lamb decides to abduct a very willing Tommie for a road trip from Chicago to the Rocky Mountains, planning on initiating her into the beauty of the mountain wilderness, they are each shaken in ways that neither one of them had expected.

This is a masterful exploration of the dynamics of love as well as the dependency which challenges the boundaries between adolescence and adulthood. It also confronts some preconceived notions about conventional morality, and it exposes mankind’s eroded relationship with nature.

Bonnie delivers a debut novel that is compelling and weird with excellent descriptions, prose, and characterizations. It’s her details and descriptions that draw you into this, and then her prose is just absolutely gorgeous throughout. It has a distinctive and disturbing plot with a seductive narrative. The events in the story stay with you even when you are not actually reading the novel. This is as the novel asks you to truly look into the mind of a guy that is a potential pedophile. And you are asked to consider Lamb to just be a decent guy that wants to merely help a girl out of her broken home.

“Lions” is the second stand alone novel and was released in 2016. A young couple whose love, and everything that they know to be true, gets threatened by an unwelcome stranger’s arrival in their collapsing Eastern Colorado town.

A haunting and scorching portrait about a rural community in a “living ghost town” that’s on the brink of collapse and the individuals that are confronted with either pursuing their dreams or, against all reason, remaining where they are.

This is set on the High Plains of Colorado, which is an almost deserted place which is sparsely populated and steeped in local legends. Built to be this glorious Western “city upon a hill”, it wasn’t ever fit for mining, farming, trading, or any of the illusory sources of wealth that its pioneers had imagined. The Walkers have been settled on its barren terrain for generations now, a simple family in this town that is otherwise still taken in by stories about better, bigger, brighter.

A traveling stranger shows up one day, his unsettling presence sets off this chain reaction which is going to change the fates of everybody that he encounters. It starts with John Walker (the patriarch), while he succumbs to a heart attack. Gordon (John’s devastated son) is forced deciding between heading off to college with Leigh (his girlfriend), and staying with his family in order to look after their floundering welding shop and (it’s believed) to continue carrying out this mysterious task that is bequeathed to all of the Walker men.

As Leigh’s desperate to make a better life in the world beyond all of the desolation of Lions, Gordon’s oddly reluctant to leave all this behind. While more families continue abandoning the town, he’s faced with what appears to be a reasonable decision and the burden that comes with betraying his heart.

A story about awakening, this is an exquisite novel which explores ambition and an American obsession with self-improvement, the everyday illusions which pass for a life worth living, and the responsibilities that we have to ourselves and one another.

This is an atmospheric read of this desolate small town which exists outside of the world. There is the truth about leaving and the truth about staying. It’s a subtle read that is packed with meaning all about values held and choices made. It’s Bonnie’s gorgeous writing, her perfectly constructed phrases that describe the place known as Lions and the way she takes you to this place which allows you to just accept all the remaining mysteries and the unanswered questions which lingered even by the end of the book.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Bonnie Nadzam

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