See How Small: Book summary and reviews of See How Small by Scott Blackwood

See How Small

A Novel

by Scott Blackwood

See How Small by Scott Blackwood X
See How Small by Scott Blackwood
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2015
    224 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

One late autumn evening in a Texas town, two strangers walk into an ice cream shop shortly before closing time. They bind up the three teenage girls who are working the counter, set fire to the shop, and disappear. See How Small tells the stories of the survivors--family, witnesses, and suspects--who must endure in the wake of atrocity. Justice remains elusive in their world, human connection tenuous.

Hovering above the aftermath of their deaths are the three girls. They watch over the town and make occasional visitations, trying to connect with and prod to life those they left behind. "See how small a thing it is that keeps us apart," they say. A master of compression and lyrical precision, Scott Blackwood has surpassed himself with this haunting, beautiful, and enormously powerful new novel.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Blackwood explores the effects of senseless crime on an innocent, tightly knit community, using deft prose to mine the essence of human grief and compassion." - Publishers Weekly

"Blackwood is an excellent stylist, though in the name of unconventionality, the reader lacks a few narrative toeholds." - Kirkus

"The novel has much to say about the mysteries of the human psyche, the far-reaching effects of violence, and the disparate ways grief works on people." - Booklist

"Similar to Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones, this lyrical, abstract, and less sentimental novel by Blackwood...may haunt literary fiction readers long after the unsettling ending." - Library Journal

"Horrible deaths of the innocent, and the various means and tactics by which the living manage to go on in the aftermath of unsolved horror, form the heart of Scott Blackwood's haunted and haunting novel, See How Small. His prose is crisp and his narrative approach is fresh and inventive, calmly pushing forward, with characters rendered so convincingly you think about sending cards of condolence or calling with advice on the investigation." - Daniel Woodrell, author of Winter's Bone and The Maid's Version

"See How Small is superb. In prose that's as fine as any being written today, Scott Blackwood plumbs the depths of a story that is alternately haunting, terrifying, and achingly tragic. Blackwood illuminates the human condition even as he breaks our hearts." - Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

"Scott Blackwood is a wizard, and in See How Small he puts his skills to dazzling use as he anatomizes a town and a crime. Best of all is the deep empathy he brings to his characters, innocent and guilty, wise and confused; all of them are given the grace of his understanding. A vivid and astonishing novel." - Margot Livesey, author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy

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Author Information

Scott Blackwood

Scott Blackwood is the author of two previous books of fiction, In the Shadow of Our House and We Agreed to Meet Just Here, and the recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award. He's also the author of The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records, a book of narrative nonfiction. A long-time resident of Austin, Texas, Blackwood now lives in Chicago and teaches fiction writing in the MFA program at Southern Illinois University.

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