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Penny, n. A definition: 1) A one-cent coin equal to one hundredth of a dollar; 2) A blue-skirted, soon-to-be thirty-year-old, champagne-swilling, high-rise-dwelling lounge singer; 3) A hopeful and lonely woman in love; 4) The object of a depressive and manic lexicographer's angst and affection; 5) A trivial amount; 6) A slave or servant; 7) An Itty-Bitty-Kitty-Keeper, a ...more
Paperback, 133 pages
Published June 1st 2013 by Rescue Press
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McDonnell, a former lexicographer herself, expertly explores the English language and her preciseness creates great imagery. Her descriptive metaphors are inventive (“his Jacuzzi eyes and clamshell fingernails” (p. 95)) and she describes color so well, so funny, so dark. A book cover is “the color of construction sites and Tang” (p. 64), and a bridesmaid’s dress is “the color of a coffin’s lining” (p. 76). Moreover, McDonnell shows skill in character-building with Penny, an insecure woman who is ...more
Oct 18, 2013 Julia Fierro rated it it was amazing
Madeline McDonnell is an extraordinary writer. Her balancing act, so to speak, in her second book, is remarkable. Her sharp humor is balanced with her compassion for her characters. Her innovative language and structural playfulness is balanced with concrete detail and a subtle sense of guiding through masterfully manipulated point-of-view technique. It is exciting to see a writer take risks that are so ultimately successful. Can't wait to see what she thinks of next.
Madeline McDonnell is a graduate of Brown University, where she was a Rose Writing Fellow, and The University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was an Iowa Arts Fellow. She has taught writing at the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio, Cornish College of the Arts, and The University of Iowa; she has also worked as an editor and lexicographer for the Oxford English Dictionary. Her tiny story collection, ...moreMore about Madeline McDonnell...