Failure to Zigzag: A Novel
Finally back in print, Jane Vandenburgh's brilliant debut-startlingly idiosyncratic, intelligent, funny, and painfully moving . It's southern California in the early Sixties, and Charlotte is a teenager, which is bad enough. She also has strange grandparents, with whom she lives, a schizophrenic ventriloquist alcoholic mother who appears and disappears regularly from her life, and only vague information about the father who died before Charlotte was born.With so much craziness in the family, Charlotte figures, whether it's nature or nurture, she's doomed. In Failure to Zigzag, Jane Vandenburgh gracefully zigzags between hilarity and sorrow as she recounts Charlotte's attempts to grow up and to practice sanity as a form of revenge.
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Ainsworths Awe-I awwwnnd beer Bob Davidson called Camarillo can’t Char Charles Dickens Charlotte asked Charlotte knew Charlotte looked Charlotte saw Charlotte thought Charlotte told Charlotte’s cigarette couldn’t crap crappy crazy dark didn’t door dressed Duncan eyes face father felt ﬁelds ﬁlled ﬁnally ﬁnd ﬁngers ﬁnished ﬁre ﬁrst ﬂoor ﬂy funny girl Glendale goddamned going gone Greenley hadn’t hair hand Harbor Freeway he’d heard Joey Johnny Mercer Katrinka asked Katrinka told Lionel and Winnie lips listening Little Winnie living lotte lousy Maxine mental patient mother mother’s mouth never Ogamer Patsy Patsy’s remember Safeway Scrabble screamed she’d skin smell smoke someone stand stared stood stopped sucked her cheeks Sugarman Sweeney sweetie talking tell they’d things tipped her chin Tom Finn trinka trying turned Vista del Mar voice wasn’t watched What’s whispered who’d window Winnie’s words