Wheelers Books
The Wonder Garden

The Wonder Garden (Trade Paperback / Paperback)

By Acampora, Lauren

In her debut collection, Acampora brings to the page the myriad lives of a Connecticut suburban town and lays them bare. These linked stories take a look at the flawed people of Old Cranbury, tales that reveal at each turn the unseen battles we play out behind drawn blinds, the c... read full description below.

ISBN 9780802124814
Barcode 9780802124814
Published 9 February 2016 by Grove Press
Format Trade Paperback/Paperback
Alternate Format(s) View All (4 other possible title(s) available)
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Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9780802124814
ISBN-10 080212481X
Stock Out of stock
Status Not currently available
Publisher Grove Press
Imprint Grove Press
Publication Date 9 February 2016
Publication Country United States United States
Format Trade Paperback/Paperback
Author(s) By Acampora, Lauren
Category Short Stories
Number of Pages 368
Dimensions Width: 137mm
Height: 208mm
Spine: 28mm
Weight 318g
Interest Age General Audience
Reading Age General Audience
Library of Congress Domestic fiction, Suburban life, Short stories, Short stories, American, Connecticut
NBS Text Short Stories & Fiction Anthologies
ONIX Text General/trade
Dewey Code 813.6
Catalogue Code Not specified

Description of this Book

An Indie Next PickAn Amazon Debut SpotlightA Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection Like Wharton, Acampora seems to understand fiction as a kind of elegant design. As characters reappear in one story after another, Acampora reveals herself as a careful architect... lovely prose... often a single sentence twists sinuously, charged with positive and negative electricity. New York Times Book Review Launched by four starred prepubs and a full page New York Times book review, The Wonder Garden marks Lauren Acampora s rarely seen, sensational entrance into the literary world. With enchanting realism, these linked stories bring to the page the myriad lives of a suburban town, and reveal at each turn the unseen battles we play out behind drawn blinds, the creeping truths from which we distract ourselves, and the massive dreams we haul quietly with us and hold close. Deliciously creepy and masterfully complex The Wonder Garden heralds the arrival of a phenomenal new talent in American fiction. Acampora s stories show that an Anna Karenina principle still applies: All happy families are the same; the unhappy ones are miserable in their own special way. Or to boil it down to modern terms: mo money, mo problems Add well-drawn characters, interesting plots, cultural zingers and dead-on critiques of consumerism and Acampora delivers a page-turner. Dallas Morning News A smashing debut, with range, subtlety and bite. Reading Acampora, we re in Cheever country, with hints of Flannery O Connor. Jane Ciabattari, BBC.com In 13 sharply drawn linked stories, Acampora reveals the complexities beneath the polish and privilege of a prosperous Connecticut town. People

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Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings

NZ Review A Barnes and Noble Discover Pick An Amazon Book of the Month Praise for THE WONDER GARDEN: Like Wharton, Acampora seems to understand fiction as a kind of elegant design. As characters reappear in one story after another, Acampora reveals herself as a careful architect...accomplishes great depth of characterization, in no small part because Acampora doesn t shy from the unpalatable...There is a barbed honesty to the stories that brushes up against Acampora s lovely prose to interesting effect. Often a single sentence twists sinuously, charged with positive and negative electricity. Alix Ohlin, New York Times Book Review Acampora is a brilliant anthropologist of the suburbs ... [The Wonder Garden] is reminiscent of John Cheever in its anatomizing of suburban ennui and of Ann Beattie in its bemused dissection of a colorful cast of eccentrics. But Acampora s is entirely her own book ... Acampora s ability to lay bare the heartaches of complex individuals within an utterly unique imaginative world is worthy of high praise. Boston Globe In 13 sharply drawn linked stories, Acampora reveals the complexities beneath the polish and privilege of a prosperous Connecticut town. People Acampora s stories show that an Anna Karenina principle still applies: All happy families are the same; the unhappy ones are miserable in their own special way. Or to boil it down to modern terms: mo money, mo problems Add well-drawn characters, interesting plots, cultural zingers and dead-on critiques of consumerism and Acampora delivers a page-turner. Dallas Morning News A smashing debut, with range, subtlety and bite. Reading Acampora, we re in Cheever country, with hints of Flannery O Connor. Jane Ciabattari, BBC.com Well-plotted, incisive and beautifully written fiction. Bookreporter.com Acampora s debut creates a portrait of a fictional upscale New York suburb, Old Cranbury, through a series of linked stories that are intelligent, unnerving, and very often strangeIn each story, Acampora examines the tensions, longings, and mild lunacies underlying the beady-eyed mommy culture and sociopolitical forgetfulness marking Old Cranbury. At the same time, Acampora s picture of the townrendered in crisp prose and drawing on extensive architectural detailis as irresistible as it is disturbing. Publishers Weekly (starred, boxed review) The stories in Acampora s first collection are so vivid, tightly plotted, and expertly woven that they make you look forward to reading more by this accomplished author. Library Journal (starred review) Spooky and fabulous... A cleareyed lens into the strange, human wants of upper-class suburbia. Kirkus (starred review) Acampora wields prose with the precision of a scalpel, insightfully dissecting people s desperate emotions and most cherished hopes...Acampora not only meticulously conveys the allure of an outwardly paradisiacal suburban community, with its perfectly restored Victorian homes and well-tended lawns; she also clearly captures the inner turmoil of its residents, homing in on their darkest impulses and beliefs. Some of the stories starring characters make cameos in others, adding considerable complexity to the whole. Like Evan S. Connell in his iconic novels, Mrs. Bridge (1958) and Mr. Bridge (1969), Acampora brilliantly captures the heartaches and delusions of American suburbanites. Booklist (starred review) A dark and brilliant collection of stories. Lauren Acampora is a terrific writer. Joseph O Neil, author of Netherland and The Dog The world depicted in Lauren Acampora s stories seems reassuringly familiar, until it becomes unaccountably strange and unsettling. One moment we seem to be in Cheever s Westchester, the next we plunge through the looking glass into realms that may remind some readers of George Saunders or Robert Coover or the David Lynch of Blue Velvet, though, inevitably, all resemblances prove to be superficial. Acampora is an original and The Wonder Garden is an outstanding debut. Jay McInerney, author of Bright Lights, Big City The Wonder Garden is a beautiful book: witty, intelligent, deeply compassionate and gorgeously crafted. Lauren Acampora is uncannily skilled at chronicling the emotional lives of her characters with the same razor-sharp precision as she does the suburban landscape that surrounds them. I can't stop thinking about these stories. Molly Antopol, author of The UnAmericans Like the famous opening scene in 'Blue Velvet, ' Lauren Acampora's The Wonder Garden pulls us under the surface of that most carefully tended American garden, the prosperous suburb, to lay bare its dark underbelly. The Wonder Garden is wondrous, and its stories are addictive. I dreaded coming to the end. Susan Choi, author of My Education Lauren Acampora's linked stories, about one Connecticut town, vividly explore dark interiors as well as polished facades. The Wonder Garden is an elegant construction and a chronicle of the surprising ways in which suburban lives intersect. Lauren Acampora is a writer of extraordinary dexterity. Elliott Holt, author of You Are One of Them I loved The Wonder Garden. Acampora's writing moves like a laser through her characters' souls, finding the deepest, darkest truths and delusions. Every story surprises. Every story is devastating. Like Mad Men set in the present day, but better. Heidi Pitlor, author of The Birthdays

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Author's Bio

Lauren Acampora's fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, Missouri Review, Prairie Schooner, New England Review, and Antioch Review. Raised in Connecticut, she now lives in Westchester County, New York, with her husband, artist Thomas Doyle, and their daughter.

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