An excerpt: “[N]othing in this novel is predictable, which is one of many reasons that it’s a delight. Young-Stone has written an exceptionally rich and sure-handed debut, full of complex characters, brilliantly described. . . . [H]er style certainly has an electric immediacy.”
In celebration of my debut novel THE HANDBOOK FOR LIGHTNING STRIKE SURVIVORS: I offer an excerpt from novel #3 in progress, as yet untitled:
For her art project, Meredith made wings. They were what you’d imagine homemade wings to be: four feet in length, curved, ten inches across at the widest point, narrowing to the bottom, layered with clean white feathers, synthetic things, bought at the Craft Emporium. It seemed only right that when she’d been assigned to build something three dimensional, Meredith would make wings. She’d been born with them or something like them. The doctors called her wings a birth defect, an anomaly, how some children are born with tails and others with cleft palates, Meredith had bifurcated protrusions extending from her back. Wings, her mother had reckoned. An angel born to the wrong world. Wings, Meredith thought, even after her mother stopped saying kind things. Wings, she believed, even after her mother became addicted to cocaine and coco-puffs. Years ago, before the cocaine, Meredith’s mother said that the wings were attached until Meredith was two months old—when it was safer to operate, to cut them cleanly, two stitched seams in their stead. Once, Meredith remembered her mother saying, “I felt them flutter when I fed you your bottle.” Meredith’s mother dismissed such bullshit nowadays. She didn’t like talking about wings or flights, not to distant lands, not away from Vilento Beach, not flights of fancy. Nothing.
c. Michele Young-Stone, 2010