Lady Lazarus: Book summary and reviews of Lady Lazarus by Andrew Foster Altschul

Lady Lazarus

by Andrew Foster Altschul

Lady Lazarus by Andrew Foster Altschul X
Lady Lazarus by Andrew Foster Altschul
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2008
    576 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

This spectacular, sprawling debut novel tells the story of Calliope Bird Morath, daughter of legendary punk-rock star Brandt Morath—whose horrific suicide devastated the world—and his notorious wife, Penelope.

The novel is narrated by both Calliope and her obsessive biographer, who follows her from her silent childhood to her first tortured, manic public statements about her father; from her highly publicized publication of a book of poetry to her mysterious disappearance; from her reappearance as the mute leader of a cultlike brigade known as The Muse to her spectacular showdown with the biographer.

A disturbing and razor-sharp meditation on twenty-first-century celebrity culture, Lady Lazarus is also a funny and moving story about the age-old question of the nature of the self.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"In this gleeful, difficult debut, Altschul lays into an easy target - cynical celebrity culture .... But the book's tricky PoMo narrative is bloated with gee-whiz grad-schoolisms, and storytelling takes a backseat to indulgence throughout." - Publishers Weekly.

"Regrettably, he elevates his characters' emotions to such a maniacal and operatic level that their resulting behavior may annoy some readers. An optional purchase for public and academic libraries." - Library Journal.

"Nimble prose and an ironic but not smart-alecky stance keep this story moving along nicely - a promising start." - Kirkus Reviews

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More Information

Andrew Foster Altscul is a Jones Lecturer and former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. His work has appeared in Fence, Swink, StoryQuarterly, One Story and other journals, as well as the anthologies Best New American Voices 2006 and The O. Henry Prize Stories 2007. He lives in San Francisco.

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