Failure to Zigzag

By: Vandenburgh, Jane

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Failure to Zigzag by Vandenburgh, Jane
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San Francisco: North Point Press, 1989. 329 pages. It's southern California in the early Sixties, and Charlotte is a teenager, which is bad enough. She also has strange grandparents, with whom she lives, a schizophrenic ventriloquist alcoholic mother who appears and disappears regularly from her life, and only vague information about the father who died before Charlotte was born. With so much craziness in the family, Charlotte figures, whether it's nature or nurture, she's doomed. In Failure to Zigzag, Jane Vandenburgh gracefully zigzags between hilarity and sorrow as she recounts Charlotte's attempts to grow up and to practice "sanity as a form of revenge." "Electrifying! It is so funny, so smart, and so well-crafted there is almost too much to praise." Philadelphia Inquirer "Rarely has a first novel so beautifully communicated the wild intelligence and despair of the insane as Vandenburgh's exquisite Failure to Zigzag." San Francisco Chronicle "As affecting as it is astonishing." Los Angeles Times "Superb!" The New York Times Book Review. Cloth. Good - Very Good/Good - Very Good. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Ex-Library.

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