Copy Boy

Copy Boy : A Novel

4.13 (125 ratings by Goodreads)

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Description

"This is Raymond Chandler for feminists." Sharma Shields, author of The Cassandra

"An expressive and striking story that examines what one does for family and for oneself." Kirkus Reviews

Jane's a very brave boy. And a very difficult girl. She'll become a remarkable woman, an icon of her century, but that's a long way off.

Not my fault, she thinks, dropping a bloody crowbar in the irrigation ditch after Daddy. She steals Momma's Ford and escapes to Depression-era San Francisco, where she fakes her way into work as a newspaper copy boy.

Everything's looking up. She's climbing the ladder at the paper, winning validation, skill, and connections with the artists and thinkers of her day. But then Daddy reappears on the paper's front page, his arm around a girl who's just been beaten into a coma one block from Jane's newspaper hit in the head with a crowbar.

Jane's got to find Daddy before he finds her, and before everyone else finds her out. She's got to protect her invented identity. This is what she thinks she wants. It's definitely what her dead brother wants.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 264 pages
  • 139 x 215 x 22.86mm | 362.87g
  • Berkeley, United States
  • English
  • 1631526979
  • 9781631526978

Review quote

2021 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards Finalist in Fiction: Historical
2020 American Fiction Awards Finalist in Coming of Age
2020 Sarton Book Awards Finalist in Historical Fiction

"Copy Boy is a rewarding historical novel with a ferocious, fascinating lead."
-4-star Foreword Clarion Review

"An expressive and striking story that examines what one does for family and for oneself."
-Kirkus Reviews

"From the very start of Copy Boy, I was sucked in, and Blanton-Stroud didn't let me out until the epilogue. Jane is a compelling character, all sharp edges and Midwestern grit, and I was thrilled to see just how far she would go to get what she wanted. Jane is not your traditional historical fiction character, who always has a moment when she subtly reasserts her femininity by acting soft. She digs into what she wants and digs in hard. This means she has to make difficult choices, and not everything she does is laudable. Jane is no hero; she's just a young woman trying to make her way, and that's why I loved her so much."
-Jo Niederhoff, The San Francisco Book Review

"Copy Boy is a fantastic story of a young woman's survival and re-invention, set in Northern California during the Depression. Blanton-Stroud's prose sings and crackles and brings us into the world of Jane with so much compassion and beauty and wisdom. An engaging, wonderfully original book."
-Karen E. Bender, author of The New Order, longlisted for the Story Prize, and Refund, a National Book Award finalist

"A stellar debut. Copy Boy may be Shelley Blanton-Stroud's first novel, but it's apparent from page one that she's been working on her craft for many years. Combining the best elements of noir, historical fiction, and coming-of-age stories, Blanton-Stroud has written a compelling, nuanced story. Deftly plotted and expertly executed, Copy Boy is as mesmerizing as the moment when the fog lifts over Nob Hill. Highly recommended."
-Sheldon Siegel, New York Times best-selling author of the Mike Daley/Rosie Fernandez novels

"Full of adventure, chutzpah, historical detail, and, most of all, heart, Copy Boy is a thrilling, Depression-era coming-of-age story well suited to our times."
-Maggie Shen King, award-winning author of An Excess Male

"Shelley Blanton-Stroud's Copy Boy explores place and identity with sharp-edged suspense and intrigue. Smart, lively, and suspenseful, this is Raymond Chandler for feminists."
-Sharma Shields, author of The Cassandra and recipient of the Pacific Northwest Book Award

"Shelley Blanton-Stroud's Copy Boy is one of those novels that can rekindle your faith in fiction. Her distinctive voice, command of historical details, and sheer storytelling verve show through on every page. Maybe this exact story never happened, but it should have-in exactly this way. A bravura debut-I'm expecting great things from this author."
-David Corbett, award-winning author of The Long-Lost Love Letters of Doc Holliday
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About Shelley Blanton-Stroud

Shelley Blanton-Stroud grew up in California's Central Valley, the daughter of Dust Bowl immigrants who made good on their ambition to get out of the field. She teaches college writing in Northern California and consults with writers in the energy industry. She serves on the advisory boards of 916 Ink, an arts-based creative writing nonprofit for children, and Stories on Stage Sacramento, where actors perform the stories of established and emerging authors. She has also served on the Writers' Advisory Board for the Belize Writers' Conference. Copy Boy is her first novel, and she's currently working on her second. She also writes and publishes flash fiction and non-fiction, which you can find at such journals as Brevity and Cleaver. She and her husband live in Sacramento with an aging beagle and many photos of their out-of-state sons. To learn where you can read her stories and more, go to shelleyblantonstroud.com.
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Rating details

125 ratings
4.13 out of 5 stars
5 46% (57)
4 32% (40)
3 15% (19)
2 4% (5)
1 3% (4)
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