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Nobody's Girl

3.47  ·  Rating Details ·  144 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
It's been nineteen months since thirty-year-old Birdy Stone came to Pinetop. Birdy spends her days trying to teach her students to appreciate the beauty of literature and her nights getting high with Jesus, her gay colleague and confidant.Birdy regards Pinetop as merely an escapade. But the desultory quality of her life is interrupted when a middle-aged widow asks Birdy to ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published February 18th 1999 by Scribner Book Company (first published 1998)
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While I see most folks complained about Birdie, the main character ("don't like her"), I was mesmerized by Nelson's deceptively simple writing.
30-year old Birdie leaves Chicago to teach in a small New Mexico town. Her only friend is the gay art teacher, Jesus; they spend their lunch hours making fun of their coworkers and their nights smoking pot together.
Birdie's hired by a student's mother. The mom wants Birdie to help edit her memoir, entitled Somebody's Girl. Editing this cliche-ridden mess
Oct 25, 2007 Danielle rated it it was ok
Shelves: just-fun
My friend Suzanne recommended this book. I just started it, but it's a promising beginning. Who can resist this line, from the very first page:

"Outside the snow fell. Not the snow of November or December, which portended Christmas, nor the snow of January or February, which meant skiing, but the snow of March, that defeated, dreary, superfluous month no one could love."


A big disappointment. After a strong start, I got pretty sick of the shallow lead character and nothing much happens in t
Apr 29, 2008 K.K. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2008-book-log
Antonya Nelson is an all time favorite writer of mine.

She knows how to reveal a character in a way that is uncomfortable and relentless and real. You are able to identify with her characters because you are exposed to the good and the bad. Nelson takes the risk of revealing something about a character that you might not like with no intention of redeeming that character later, because that trait is simply a part of that character. Period.

I love her approach, and that is no different for this b
Oct 25, 2011 Cheryl rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
The idea of this book is interesting. Reading about someone reading someone else's work. But it is a bit rambling and I just got to the uncomfortable part. So far, I'm not a huge fan.

The book continued to ramble and the author seemed to forget about the plot (the plot, at least, according to the book jacket). I realize there was more to the book and it was more about the main character herself, but if that was the case, it would have been nice to see any character development. She also wasn't ve
Mar 08, 2009 Jen rated it really liked it
While this novel held some treasures, I liked Nelson's short stories better. Her short stories are like walking through Manhattan, there are treasures in every nook, while this novel, in contrast, felt like driving through the Phoenix suburbs; you have to drive a while before reaching a place worthwhile. All that said, maybe I'm being too harsh. I liked the protagonist and the language enough to follow her to the end of her story, which is much, much more than I can say for the last couple novel ...more
Suzanne Macartney
Aug 21, 2007 Suzanne Macartney rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: fiction
A favorite. Funny, sharp, observant. Woman returns to NM to be a high school teacher, but she's an outsider, befriended only by another outsider, a gay male teacher.

First Sentence:
"Miz Stone," the pregnant girl said in the way Birdy hated: here at Pinetop High, teachers came in either Missus or Miss"
Sally Kenney
Jul 04, 2011 Sally Kenney rated it it was ok
OK n= 2 1/2 for Antonya Nelson but she seems to favor loser drifting women unmoored from Mom in problematic relationship with men. I don't find her characters all that likeable, although she writes the occasional sentence that takes your breath away. OK, back to the short stories.
Jul 24, 2010 Alexis rated it did not like it
I cannot believe this is the same Antonya Nelson. Everything about this novel was awful. Even the name of the main character was pathetically contrived. As Deeds said: she should stick with writing short stories.
Feb 23, 2011 Nancy rated it liked it
Strange story about an English teacher from Chicago teaching in a small town called Pine Top, NM. Sad woman, but figures out how to live in spite of her unhappiness.
Feb 26, 2012 Deidre rated it did not like it
She simply cannot write a novel. How can such a great short story write be so bad at writing a novel! I resented giving her a star for this one.
Jun 14, 2011 Alexia rated it it was ok
Meh...I only finished it due to the "mystery" aspect of it. The main character was horribly unlikable.
Suanne Laqueur
May 05, 2016 Suanne Laqueur rated it it was ok
All the reviews touted Nelson as such a humorous writer, but I didn’t find the book particularly funny, nor did I find Birdy that likable.

I finished it, but only half-heartedly. Meh.
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Jan 14, 2012
Dec 30, 2008 Donna added it
This was the first book I read by Nelson and it made me eager to read more.
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Oct 04, 2013
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Apr 11, 2008
Chicklit rated it really liked it
Jun 27, 2007
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Feb 08, 2009
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Adrian Stumpp rated it liked it
Nov 29, 2007
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Mar 31, 2012
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Rachelle Pulkkila rated it it was amazing
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Antonya Nelson is the author of nine books of fiction, including Nothing Right and the novels Talking in Bed, Nobody’s Girl, and Living to Tell. Nelson’s work has appeared in the New Yorker, Esquire, Harper’s, Redbook, and many other magazines, as well as in anthologies such as Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards and The Best American Short Stories. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, an NEA ...more
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“Birdy never felt artistic inclination when armed with a marking implement. What came to her were words, always words, commentary and criticism and correction and simple vocabulary curios; she scratched a few of them on the smooth red wall.” 2 likes
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