BookBrowse Reviews Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman

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Girlchild

A Novel

by Tupelo Hassman

Girlchild
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2012, 288 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2013, 288 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Norah Piehl

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A heart-wrenching debut about a sassy girl struggling to find her way out of her lot in life: a Reno trailer park

One of the biggest trends in fiction writing over the past several years has been the popularization of so-called flash fiction, ultra-short stories whose precise and sparing use of language often resembles poetry as much as it does fiction. Part of the surprising beauty of Tupelo Hassman's debut novel, Girlchild, is that many of the small vignettes that make up the short chapters read like superbly crafted flash fiction. It shouldn't be a surprise, really, since Hassman has published flash fiction on such sites as 100wordstory.org. Here, though, the pieces, each of which could stand on its own, combine to become far more than their expected sum.

Hassman also experiments with form in the novel, utilizing documentation such as social workers' reports and whimsical elements like mathematical word problems. Not only do these materials tell Hassman's story in an unusual and flexible way;...

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