Excerpt from Oxford Messed Up by Andrea Kayne Kaufman, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Oxford Messed Up

By Andrea Kayne Kaufman

Oxford Messed Up
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Paperback: Nov 2011,
    336 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


For the first time at Oxford, Henry had found more than an acquaintance; he had discovered a real friend. With Gloria, he was not a fuckup whose life achievements were all the products of nepotism. He was just Henry, fellow Van Morrison devotee and foil for dead women poets everywhere.

His life may have been as fucked up as the dead women poets she studied, but Gloria didn't need to know that. He couldn't bear the thought of scaring her away.

6.

Gloria's favorite class at Oxford was somewhat nontraditional with its renegade instructor. And she attended this class without the instructor even knowing she was there. Behind the mysterious loo door, she would listen intently to his wisdom and insights about one of her favorite poets, Van Morrison. Gloria thought Henry was one of the best teachers she ever had, rivaling anyone at Yale or Oxford.

Tonight's explication was Tupelo Honey, Van Morrison's gorgeous Woodstock album and song of the same name. She loved the title track, agreeing with Peter Mills that it was a "slow-dripping declaration of love."

She's as sweet as tupelo honey.
She's an angel in the first degree.
She's as sweet as tupelo honey.
Just like honey baby.
Well straight from the bee.
They can't stop us from the road to freedom.

Gloria always thought of "Tupelo Honey" as more of a country song, but tonight Henry was playing it as pure blues. This recent remake with Bobby "Blue" Bland was a-fucking-mazing. Rhythm and blues maestro Bland together with Van Morrison transformed the song into heartfelt blues with profound lyrical resonance, totally capturing the moment. At Bland's sultry pronunciation of "Tipelo" instead of "Tupelo," Gloria immersed her quivering body in the sultry water of her warm bath.

Every night, she would listen to Henry's illumination of the music as she lay in a warm, soothing bath. These were not Oliver's harsh scrubbing baths of morning ritual and prayer. Rather, these were Henry's late-night Van Morrison baths - soothing, sultry, and calming to the soul.
v As she lay back and closed her eyes, allowing the water to frame her face, Gloria thought about tupelo trees; they too thrived in water, preferring the moist ground of riverbeds and creeks. Their blossoms were beautiful and fragrant but extremely delicate and vulnerable to the elements. One strong wind or harsh rain, and they were gone for good. That vulnerability and their short blossoming season made it a fucking miracle anytime one survived.

But when it did, the blossom produced sweet and delicious tupelo honey, which Gloria thought an incredible prize for the remarkable feat of holding on.

Excerpted from Oxford Messed Up by Andrea Kayne Kaufman. Copyright © 2011 by Andrea Kayne Kaufman. Excerpted by permission of Grant Place Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Van Morrison

Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Promise
    The Promise
    by Ann Weisgarber
    Canadian author, Lucy Maud Montgomery of Anne of Green Gables fame, once wrote that "...all things ...
  • Book Jacket: Black Moon
    Black Moon
    by Kenneth Calhoun
    The popularity of book-turned-movie World War Z and television series The Walking Dead points to a ...
  • Book Jacket: Hyde
    Hyde
    by Daniel Levine
    In Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the story ends ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

Sailor Twain
by Mark Siegel

Published Mar. 2014

Join the discussion!

Win this book!
Win The Steady Running of the Hour

The Steady Running of the Hour

"Exciting, emotionally engaging and amibtious. I loved it!" - Kate Mosse

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I T T O A Eye

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.