Thursday, June 21, 2007
A Must Read for Summer
Up High In The Trees
A Novel by Kiara Brinkman
Grove Press, ISBN 978-0-8021-1847-9, $28.95 cloth, on sale this July
If this book isn't on your summer reads list, it should be.
Up High In The Trees is one of O magazine's 24 best reads of summer.
Up High In The Trees is a Barnes & Nobles Discover New Great Writers Pick as well as a Borders Original Voices pick for Fall 2007.
Up High In The Trees makes the Time Out Chicago and the San Francisco Chronicle summer reading lists.
I'll let the praise win you over:
"Could be the most oddly moving debut novel since Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. Up High In The Trees, told by a gentle, precariously sensitive young boy with Asperger's syndrome who viscerally mourns his mothers death and tries to connect with his wounded family, in a voice as quietly urgent as a prayer."-O Magazine
“An astonishing debut by a gifted young writer. Up High in the Trees captures, pitch-perfectly, the voice of one autistic nine-year-old boy. That the story is also compelling, beautifully written, humorous, and heartbreaking makes it necessary reading. Sebby Lane is a Little Prince for our times.”—Cristina Garcia, author of Dreaming in Cuban
“Up High in the Trees is a hauntingly beautiful debut, a stunner. Kiara Brinkman has masterfully created an enchanting, poignant, and wholly original child narrator out of taut, spooky, electric sentences and elegant, musical concisions. The most remarkable thing is that you don’t, at first, notice the razor-sharp precision of Brinkman’s technique; the book is so vibrant, so alive, it’s as if she’s channeling this nine-year-old boy and his visceral, riveting, often terrifying, depiction of the otherworld that is childhood.”—Maud Casey, author of The Shape of Things to Come
“Up High in the Trees is a visceral, heart-wrenching, gorgeous book. What moves me most about Brinkman’s first novel is the voice: it’s pitch-perfect and mesmerizing. With Up High in the Trees Brinkman has created a fully realized, wholly original, and powerfully felt world.”—Alison Smith, author of Name All the Animals
“Told in brief poetic vignettes, the novel moves quickly and episodically, like a series of snapshots from the camera of Sebby's unique mind.”—Publishers Weekly
“What does come strong and clear…is the author’s impressive ability to connect with and portray the myopic grief of a bereft child. . . . A promising debut.”—Kirkus Review
“Up High in the Trees by Kiara Brinkman is a moving portrait of upheaval. Told through the narrative voice of an 8 year old boy, the novel explores the immediate impact of loss on a family in New England. Sebby s narration moves between succinct descriptions of the world around him and poetic internal monologues about the loss of his mother. After refusing to go to school, his father takes Sebby to their family cabin to regroup. However, it is this isolation that pushes his father further into his breakdown. Sebby narrates everything with such a simple voice, that it adds so much more horror to the events he witnesses. Brinkman has created a stunning novel about overcoming loss, the ties of family and neighbors and how the memories in our heads can become the only photographs we have left to treasure.”—Becca Krik, Politics & Prose Bookstore and Coffeehouse, Washington, D.C.
“The characters in Up High in the Trees linger with the reader long after the book is finished, almost like friends you haven't seen for awhile and you hope are doing fine. Told in the first person by young autistic Sebby, this is a story of a family that falls apart and comes back together again in unexpected and poignant ways.”—Linda Ramsdall, The Galaxy Bookshop, Hardwick, VT
“Through the spare narration of 8-year old Sebby Lane, Kiara Brinkman manages to tell a rich, nuanced story that deeply delves into the adult themes of grief, family ties and friendship. It's hard not to love Sebby and his wise innocence from the very first page as he tries to cope with his mother's death.”—Arsen Kashkashian, Boulder Book Store, Boulder, CO