"In Laurie Blauner's Somebody,
an overbearing, '50s-era party girl marries a succession of men, each
one a projection of a life she would like to live rather than any kind
of pragmatic assessment of the actual men. Her two daughters, Lizzie
and Claire, somehow manage to survive and grow up in their mother's
fragmented house by maintaining an insistent belief that somehow,
everything will get put together. Lizzie and Claire think when they
finally move out and have control of their lives they'll be able to
assemble cohesive existences. Instead, finally, they reconcile
themselves to their fractured lives.
"...strikingly original..." Matt Briggs, Tablet
"Somebody is special
in the way all very good novels are - simple elements in the hands of a
very good writer create a complex brew. In this case, those elements
involve mother-daughter relationships, mostly absent fathers, deceitful
or indifferent lovers. Laurie Blauner, a fine poet with a masterly
command of language and imagery, has written a wonderfully poignant
novel of growing up, of getting out to seek a life of fulfillment and,
possibly, happiness. I was absolutely taken with the language and the
amazing images and metaphors."
-- James Welch, author of The Heartsong of Charging Elk and Fool's Crow
"Laurie Blauner's novel, Somebody, is
a poet's novel in every way you could hope for. Her words do more than
merely move forward this story of an American girl's growing up. They
layer and dart and resonate the way images do in dreams. The wounded
father, the abandoned wife, the daughter is every, in some sad, utterly
human way, somebody who wishes she could be somebody
-- Rebecca Brown, author of The Dogs: A Modern Bestiary and The Gifts of the Body
"It is obvious from the opening lines of Laurie Blauner's first novel that she is first and foremost a very talented poet. Blauner creates images rich with feeling and color, transforming the seemingly insignificant into the extraordinary."
-- Willamette Week
Excerpt from the novel Somebody
Lizzie quietly leaves the shaking and tearing bedroom. She moves out the door backward, heels first until she is outside and then she turns her back to them. She slips like smoke through the foyer, past the living room, into the bedroom she shares with her sister. The whitewashed furniture fastidiously carries the long mirror, the two windows; underneath is a large, round tin ramshackle with toys. It is still and silent except for the faint sound of arguing from her parent's bedroom. She looks at the unmade bed and familiar pillow, companions. She is safe and free for now. She sees her hands take on the shape of birds as they fold and unfold in the mirror as she dances. Her chocolate tights scratch her calves as they move up and down, rubbing her thin legs. She looks at the composition of her face, the large brown eyes, hollowed bones as her body twists in the glass to the invisible music. It is a form of sleeping. The space conforming to her body like a tight-fitting stain of a dress her mother would wear, touching her curving body in arcs. It is the way birds leave the earth to sleep in a tree. Her feet jump into the air. She imitates Isadora Duncan.
In her turning, in her body twisting to say something she knocks her sister's coat rack to the floor. Broken. She bites the skin of her hand between the knuckles, her own taste, her salty fear. A finger of wood is split off and lays on the carpet like a separate path or lost exclamation point. She stares at it with its architecture of judgment and grief, its small abandonment in the history of this household. Broken, and she hears the eloquent punishment but does not know what it is yet.
Copyright © 2004 Laurie Blauner, all rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction by any means strictly prohibited.