How to Breathe Underwater

How to Breathe Underwater

3.95 (5,028 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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In her dazzling first book Julie Orringer dives into the private world of childhood and immerses us in its fears and longings: the jealous friendships and the bitter sibling battles; the parents that row and the boys that won't dance with you. Then, in a voice that is equally tender and compassionate, she reminds us of those rare, exhilarating moments of victory.'Unbelievably good: the humiliations and cruelties and passions of childhood, sparkling fresh prose, a writer with a big heart and an acute sense of the small things that loom large in our lives' Monica Ali, Guardian
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Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 16mm | 181.44g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 014101508X
  • 9780141015088
  • 394,654

Review quote

"A major new talent. . . .""How to Breathe Underwater""is a dark and beautiful book." -"The New York Times Book Review""These stories are without exception clear-eyed, compassionate and deeply moving. . . . Even her most bitter characters have a gift, the sharp wit of envy. This, Orringer's first book, is breathtakingly good, truly felt and beautifully delivered." -"The Guardian" "Orringer's engaging wit, her eye for social detail, her ear for patterns of speech and thought, and her insights into human nature proclaim her a writer to be reckoned with." -"Los Angeles Times""""Captivating. . . . Orringer limns the ordinary, terrifying time between childhood and maturity so skillfully." -"San Francisco Chronicle ""Pure gems, rollicking along with scintillating prose and surety
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Flap copy

Nine brave, wise, and spellbinding stories make up this award-winning debut. In "When She is Old and I Am Famous" a young woman confronts the inscrutable power of her cousin's beauty. In "Note to Sixth-Grade Self" a band of popular girls exert their social power over an awkward outcast. In "Isabel Fish" fourteen-year-old Maddy learns to scuba dive in order to mend her family after a terrible accident. Alive with the victories, humiliations, and tragedies of youth, How to Breathe Underwater" illuminates this powerful territory with striking grace and intelligence.
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About Julie Orringer

Julie Orringer was born in 1973 and grew up in New Orleans and Ann Arbor, Michigan. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and Cornell University. Her stories have appeared in several publications including The Paris Review, The Yale Review and Best New American Voices. Julie Orringer lives in San Francisco where she is currently at work on a novel. How to Breathe Underwater is her first book.
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Rating details

5,028 ratings
3.95 out of 5 stars
5 31% (1,574)
4 41% (2,045)
3 21% (1,069)
2 5% (266)
1 1% (74)
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