Calf: A Novel

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Catapult, Sep 1, 2015 - Fiction - 306 pages
An “unsettling, scary, and often brilliant” novel based on two of the most notorious crimes of the 1980s: “Sharp, twisted . . . this is a keeper” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
The year was 1981. The US was entering a deep recession, the Soviet Union was an Evil Empire, and John Hinckley, Jr.’s assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan shocked the nation. It was also the year author Andrea Kleine learned her close childhood friend had been violently murdered by her socialite mother, Leslie deVeau. Both events took place in Washington, DC. Hinckley and deVeau were both sent to St. Elizabeths hospital and declared guilty by reason of insanity. It was there that they met, and later became lovers.
These two real-life, and ultimately converging events inspired Kleine’s jaw-dropping, spine-tingling novel, Calf. Made up of dual narratives and told over the course of one year, Kleine’s account follows a fictionalized John Hinckley, Jr. as he stalks a young actress in the lead-up to the assassination attempt, and eleven-year-old Tammy, whose friend is murdered in her sleep.
Reading like a combination of Taxi Driver and Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret, this creepy, unsettling, and absolutely addictive novel is at once a penetrating character study, a meditation on the zeitgeist of the ’80s, and an unflinching depiction of violence, both intimate and sensational.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ozzer - LibraryThing

In CALF, Andrea Kleine uses a stream of consciousness narrative style to build suspense and show the similarities between true insanity and the more conventional teenage angst. She traces the ... Read full review


User Review  - Kirkus

Performance artist Kleine debuts with the bleak intertwined tales of a fourth-grader murdered by her mother and a narcissistic loser who shoots the movie star he's been stalking.The novel was ... Read full review

Selected pages


Hail to the Redskins
This is Reagan Country
The Game of Life
Away to the West
The Road Through the Forest
The Council with the Doctor
The Ordinary
Land of the Lost
On the Road
The National
To See the Wizard
The Visit
America The Frontier

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About the author (2015)

Andrea Kleine is a writer and performance artist whose work has spanned dance, theater, film, literature, and interdisciplinary projects. She has received five MacDowell Colony fellowships and the New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship award. Her writing has been published in The Los Angeles Review of Books, Everyday Genius, NYFA Current, and on her blog, The Dancers Will Win. Calf is her first novel.

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