These five stories follow young women living far from home, coping with new and often unfamiliar rules, as they confront the compelling circumstances of adult love. The rich, unforgettable tales in this collection, set in Southeast Asia and on the Indian subcontinent, showcase a writer of exceptional talent, one of today's most gifted and exciting young voices.
"You mean Jenga?"
"Perhaps, perhaps. But I prefer to think of it otherwise."
"... people were all different things at the same time. They were like onions under fine layers of skin; you didn't ever peel away a last layer, because the layers were what they were"
So thinks a character in the short story 'The Tutor'. This in a nut shell is what 'Nell Freudenberger's debut collection 'Lucky Girls' is all about. The blurbs about the book place much emphasis on the fact that the stories are set mostly in Southeast Asia and particularly India, but the backdrop for these stories...more
And Nell came along, and she was your age and pretty and her first story was published in the New Yorker, of all places. An...more
Curtis Sittenfeld -- author of "Prep" and "American Wife," both of which I loved -- wrote a redeeming piece on Freudenberger in Salon that is also interesting background reading:
I finished three of the five stor...more
In ‘The Tutor’ a young American girl living with her father in India hires Zubin, a tutor. Freudenberge beautifully illustrates the reason for t...more
Put another way, I wanted to like this collection of stories more than I did, but I know I'll be tackling Freudenberger's two novels in the future.
First, the good news: this woman has the creative range indicative of a very real desire to be a "global citizen," to truly listen to, and tell the stories of, a wide variety of people. The reader sees this in gorgeous descriptions of sites all over America and Asia. The author's worldliness also shows through in an understanding that any wr...more
MAYBE I shouldn't have read all the articles about her path to publishing before I started "Lucky Girls." Maybe, just maybe, it colored my opinion. But I do...more
Lucky Girls by Nell Freudenberger generated a lot of attention when it first came out and not necessarily for its merits (see all the hating reivews on Amazon). It seems that Freudenberger was an intern at The New Yorker, which chose to run one of her stories and it also turns out that she has had somewhat of a privileged life being a young attractive woman with a degree from Harvard as well as a big advance for a book based on the short stories in her collection Lucky Girls.
As for the writing,...more
From "The Orphan"
p. 52 Alice thinks of the incredible frustration of not knowing things, and of knowing that they can't be known - the incredible privacy of people's experience.
From "The Tutor"
p. 113 Homesickness was like any other illness: you couldn't remember it properly.
From "Letter From the Last Bastion"
p. 176 My mother says that if you're always thinking about how things are go...more
Favorite quotes both come from the last story, "Letter from the Last Bastion," which was my favorite of the five:
"I always t...more
A collection of short stories, Freudenberg takes either hybrid identities or expat Americans in southeast Asia as her subject matter, illustrating the circumstances of five girls/women.
I think my problem is right now I'm looking for plot-driven stories. Freudenberg, upon first glance, looked like she was duplicating the success of Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies, which I loved. But no, Freudenberg is much more focused...more
[tengo molto a questo libro perché, introvabile, mi è stato regalato da un'ami...more
And yet The Newlyweds truly resonated with me. I will wait for the next book by this author.