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Karolina Waclawiak Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

How to Get into the Twin Palms (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Invaders (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Life Events (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Karolina Waclawiak
Karolina Waclawiak received her MFA in Fiction from Columbia University and her BFA in Screenwriting from USC.

Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Believer, Los Angeles Times, Hazlitt, and VQR, as well as other publications.

She was an editor at the Believer, and now works as Executive Editor, Culture and Director of Development, Studio at Buzzfeed News.

A feature film she co-wrote with Deb Shoval, called AWOL, premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival, receiving praise from IndieWire, The Hollywood Reporter, and Marie Claire, as well as others.

“Life Events” was one of Bitch Media’s books feminists should read in July, BuzzFeed Books Best Books of the Summer, and one of AV Club’s books to read in July. Work that she has edited has been nominated for two National Magazine Awards and numerous essays have been chosen for the Best American Essays series.

Karolina’s debut novel, called “How to Get into the Twin Palms”, was released in the year 2012. Her work is from the literary fiction genre.

“How to Get into the Twin Palms” is the first stand alone novel and was released in the year 2012. This is the story of a young woman living in a Russian neighborhood, named Anya, who struggles with retaining her parents’ Polish culture and attempting to assimilate into her newly adopted community.

She lusts for Lev, a Russian guy that frequents the Twin Palms nightclub located just down the block from Anya’s apartment. It is Anya’s goal to gain entrance to this apparently exclusive club.

Karolina created a mood with this novel, that is complete with temperature, tastes, and grime. She grabbed some readers by the back of their necks and pulled them right into the world of her character. The loneliness and tedium of her life. It’s one of those books where not much has to occur for it to be an enjoyable book. Just the sentences, words, and atmosphere. Karolina pulls you along from one page to another on an adventure of the senses: smell, taste, touch, sight, and smell.

“The Invaders” is the second stand alone novel and was released in the year 2015. Over the course of a summer in one wealthy Connecticut community, one forty-something woman and her college-age stepson’s lives both fall apart in a sequence of violent shocks.

Cheryl’s never been the right sort of country-club wife. She has always felt like an outsider, and now, while she’s in her mid-forties, faces the tough realities of aging as her marriage disintegrates. Teddy, her troubled stepson, has been kicked out of college, and she feels cast adrift by the sparkling seaside community of Little Neck Cove, Connecticut. When Teddy comes home right as a storm that lurks off the coast threatens to wreck the precarious safe haven the cove offers, she joins him in this epic downward spiral.

The novel casts a harsh light on the glossy sheen of even the most “perfect” of lives in America’s exclusive beach communities. The novel exposes the insecurities and lies that run like fault lines through our culture, threatening to pitch pill-popping kids, bored housewives, and suspicious neighbors right into the suburban abyss.

This is an absorbing tale and Karolina is able to get you to care about her despicable, deeply flawed, and destructive main characters. Teddy and his step mom have a great relationship with each other. The novel features biting and scathing commentary on the state of the wealthy in modern times. It is about more than just rich people, with some noting that the people sound like they could live on their own neighborhood. There are a lot of issues subtly and openly addressed in the book, class warfare and racism being just two. Fans of the novel read this one pretty fast, and found themselves wanting more.

Cheryl is both complex and devious, and her interloper point of view allows for some bold reflections. It is a gut punch of a novel and is a glimpse at privileged people trapped by their choices, but unable to imagine any alternative to their misery.

“Life Events” is the third stand alone novel and was released in the year 2020. A woman at the crossroads discovers the only way to reclaim her life is to help other people die.

What if Evelyn’s entire life’s been a mistake? At the age of 37, she is on the precipice of divorce and anxiously awaits everybody she loves to die on her. She fights her existential crisis by avoiding her husband and wandering the freeways of California looking for some escape before finding a collective of exit guides. Evelyn takes some training courses where she learns to provide some companionship and a last exit for terminally ill patients that are seeking a conscious departure.

She meets a dying woman that’s still full of life, named Daphne. There’s also Daniel, who appears to be too young to die and whom she cannot help but fall for and an aging porn king named Lawrence. Each of her clients gives her an opportunity to access her own grief and face the self-destructive ways that she suppresses her pain. Evelyn travels through the Southwest for an afterlife convention, she has to finally confront her complex relationship with her alcoholic dad and reckon with some of her life choices.

This novel is about planning your next phase when you view your past as a failure and future as an impossible obligation. This novel follows a woman looking for answers and intimacy while she faces some profound questions on how we live and die these days.

This is a well-written novel that, despite it being about death and depression, manages to be so incredibly filled with life at times. With tremendous plotting, characters, dialog, Evelyn is the quintessential naval-gazer, and the LA area and southwest desert are characters, too. Readers found themselves getting pulled right into this one, since the premise is so intriguing. The novel focuses more an examination of the philosophy of death and life. Karolina’s writing is beautiful and the setting is an enjoyable one.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Karolina Waclawiak

One Response to “Karolina Waclawiak”

  1. tony Sadar: 3 years ago

    Please allow me to offer you congratulations on your wonderful piece about your mother.I lost my wife of 60 great married years ,and as i read down your artical, it was like i was writing about her life and passing .great work .love and pease tony sadar.


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