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 Char Charles Dickens Charlotte asked Charlotte knew Charlotte looked Charlotte saw Charlotte thought Charlotte told Charlotte's cigarette crap crappy crazy cried dark door dressed drink Duncan Ed Sullivan Emile Zola eyes face father felt fingers front funny girl Glendale goddamned going gone Greenley hair hand Harbor Freeway hated heard Joey Johnny Mercer Jolly Boys Katrinka asked Katrinka told laughing Lionel and Winnie lips listening Little Winnie living lotte lousy Maxine mean men in hats mental patient mother mouth never Ogamer Patsy Patsy's remember Safeway Scrabble screamed seemed skin smell smoke sniffed someone stand stared stood stopped sucked her cheeks suddenly Sugarman Sweeney sweetie talking tell things tipped her chin Tom Finn trinka trying turned Vista del Mar voice watched whispered window Winnie's words