Author(s): Bonnie Nadzam
'She was coming toward him in a crooked purple tube top and baggy shorts and brassy sandals studded with rhinestones. She carried a huge pink patent-leather purse and was possibly the worst thing he'd seen all day. 'Hi.' She had a little gap between her teeth, and her eyes were wide set, and she had one of those noses with perfectly round nostrils. She was a pale little freckled pig with eyelashes. 'I'm supposed to ask you for a cigarette.' This ugly kid before Lamb was obviously the brunt of a joke. Stupid. And reckless. Had they any idea who he was? Why he was standing alone in a black suit? What kind of heart, if any, hung inside him? And how was this not a joke on him? He took a pull on his own cigarette and put it out on the bottom of his beautifully polished shoe.' Tommie is eleven. Lamb is a middle-aged man. He is convinced that he can help her avoid a destiny of apathy and emptiness. He even comes to believe that his devotion is in her best interest.
An unsettling exploration of manipulation and power between a middle-aged man and eleven year-old girl.
(Prizewinner 2013 longlisted Women's Prize for Fiction)
"This is fiction of striking distinction." Independent "A devastatingly convincing portrait of abuse ... Add in pitch-perfect dialogue and this utterly assured, high stakes, high-wire act of a novel is proof that Nadzam is a very special talent indeed." Daily Mail "An unsettling tale of the relationship between two people separated by age and experience, Bonnie Nadzam's debut novel has already garnered rave reviews stateside. Nadzam's difficult story will invariably be compared to Nabakov's Lolita - but this is darker, fresher and stomach-turningly good." Stylist "Nadzam's lush descriptions of nature, Lambs's persuasive way with words and Tommie's innocence lead the reader into unnerving territories ... This is a brilliantly unsettling read that casts a dark, manipulative spell - particularly against the gorgeously described backdrop of the American West." Marie Claire "An unsettling and challenging read." Psychologies
Bonnie Nadzam was born in Cleveland, went to school in Chicago and has moved continually westward since then. She studied English literature and environmental studies at Carleton College and earned an MA and PhD from the University of Southern California. Her short fiction and poetry have been published in a wide range of literary publications and she taught creative writing at Colorado College. She is married to her childhood sweetheart and lives with him in the Rocky Mountains.