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Leni Zumas Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Listeners (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Red Clocks (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Author Leni Zumas teaches at Portland State University in the MFA Program in the subject of Creative Writing. At Portland State, she is an associate professor of English. She has taught at other colleges as well, some include Columbia University, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Hunter College, and Eugene Lang College, as well as many others.

Her work appears in different publications like The Elephants, The Collagist, Open City, Salt Hill, GOOD, and New Orleans Review, as well as other places. She has gotten different fellowships and grants from places like Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, and New York Foundation for the Arts.

She graduated from both Brown University and the University of Massachusetts Amherst MFA Program.

Zumas’ first novel “The Listeners” was released in the year 2012. In part, the book was based on something that happened in her family. Her dad’s brother was shot to death, while her dad was right next to him. A robbery occurred next door, and a stray bullet came and hit her dad’s brother. He never really mentioned the story all that much, but finally, she was able to ask him all about it. They were never allowed to say the brother’s name after he died, which she incorporated into her book. Her first book, “Farewell Navigator”, was released in 2008, and was a book of short stories.

Leni Zumas grew up in the nation’s capital of Washington, D. C. and lives with Luca Diperro and the couple’s son, in the city of Portland, Oregon. Her obsessions are drums, all atypical things in their many forms, maps, and ships.

“Farewell Navigator” is a book of short stories that Leni Zumas had published in the year 2008. One story is about a teenage boy finding his blind mother who meets his new best friend and makes a pass at him. She asks him to touch him in a certain place, while she has no clothes on. In another, a lonely lady, working a pillow factory as a day job, but at night, tends a group of sick animals. A witch gets disillusioned by the spiritual shortcomings that she has. A small town girl runs away with a rock band; this girl is from a town so small it does not appear on any map.

The book features outsiders that have the odds stacked against, yet are able to find some redemption in places that are quite unlikely.

Fans felt that this book does a great job of blending a lyrical and poetic voice with unique storytelling. One thing that is great about Zumas, is that you really feel as though you are getting to know all of her characters intimately. You see how think and feel about anything; this kind of storytelling helps keep readers invested in the story. Some liked that Zumas does not go the obvious way in some of the stories, she avoids letting some of her stories devolve into lesser story.

“The Listeners” is the first novel that Leni Zumas had published and was released in the year 2012. Quinn’s life has been defined by tragedy. She is thirtysomething, who survived an eccentric and broken childhood that was impaired due to her sister’s death. Two decades later, she is on the other side of a down slide after her punk rock stardom. Her music career was successful, but has been quickly halted.

She is tough yet broken, sassy and smart. She also finds herself at loose ends but has unique ways for coping. That being said, no matter what strategies she comes up with to keep her mental state intact, she is unable to keep the past away.

Fans of the novel felt that the language is wonderful and unfamiliar. Some like the use of the two disjointed story lines and the way that they hook up later on in the novel. Her work is for readers that can allow things to develop and not need to know what is going on at all times. The author has an inventive and intense style of writing that makes the novel worth reading, not to mention, what makes the reader invest in the entire novel. Zumas is such a talent, that in lesser hands, the novel would be a run of the mill story that would not be worth reading. Some felt that even with the different style of storytelling, they were still able to finish the book in just two days time.

“Red Clocks” is the second novel that Leni Zumas had published. This novel is set in a world where every embryo has rights of property, life, and liberty, this is due to the Personhood Amendment. In-vitro fertilization and abortions are banned. In a small fishing town in the state of Orgeon, five women (with nothing in common with each other) navigate the new barriers of this world. They have age-old questions about certain things like being a mother, freedom, and identity.

Ro is trying to have a baby by herself, work as a high school teacher, and write a biography about Eivor. Eivor is a little-known female who explored the polar regions in the nineteenth century.

Susan is frustrated and trapped in a crumbling marriage, and has two children. Mattie is one of Ro’s best students and an adopted daughter of two parents who dote. She finds that she is pregnant and without somewhere to turn.

Gin is a gifted homeopath (also called a mender) that lives in the forest. She brings all these women together and ties their fates to one another when she is arrested. Gin is put on trial in this witch hunt in the modern times, that is full of frenzy.

Fans of the novel like the complex characters this has. You get to see their lives connect with one another in interesting ways as the plot falls apart. Her writing is swift and fearless, sassy and sensational. Some enjoy the poetic style the book has to it, and each character’s point of view is shown, even though at times they may contrast with someone else’s. This is a smart, beautiful, and empathetic novel. Some feel that Zumas has a knack for getting into a character’s head and letting her readers get to know them very well. She also does a wonderful job of writing lyrically and in a poetic style.

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