Inside Madeleine (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Normally I don't recommend books based on their ability to induce vomiting, but in this case I feel it is apt. Paula Bomer’s new short story collection is not for the faint of heart. These gut-wrenching stories about girls at work, in school or at loose ends will make you laugh out loud and possibly throw up as her characters share the gritty, strange and poignant details of their lives. Bomer writes with equal power about the tough girl, the quiet girl and the wild child. The title novella is a heart-breaker about the eating disordered and lonely Madeleine whose story loops right around to the opening short story. A stunning collection that you won't be able to forget any time soon.

— From Brooke Recommends


"With surgical insight, Inside Madeline delves into the most complex female territory imaginable and dissects until every honest bone is revealed. Bomer's prose doesn't flinch, doesn't filter--the bravery of these stories left me breathless."
--Alissa Nutting, author of Tampa

From the author of Nine Months and Baby comes a daring new collection that seethes with alienation, lust and rage. Bomer takes us from hospitals, halfway houses, and alleyways, to boarding schools and Park Avenue penthouses, exploring the complex relationships girls have with their bodies, with other girls, and with boys. The title novella tracks the ins and outs of an outsider's life: her childhood obesity and kinky sex life, her toxic relationships, whether familial or erotic, and her various disappearing acts, of body and mind.

About the Author

Paula Bomer is the author of a novel, Nine Months (Soho Press), and a story collection, Baby (Word Riot Press). Her writing has appeared in The Mississippi Review, Open City, Fiction, Nerve, and Best American Erotica. She is the publisher of Sententia Books and a contributor to the literary blog, Big Other. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.

Praise For…

Praise for Inside Madeleine:

One of the most anticipated books of 2014

"[The title story] “Inside Madeleine” is the heartbreaking—and erotic—description of the destruction caused when the only man who sees her realistically leaves a vulnerable woman."

"[The atmosphere of Inside Madeleine] lends Bomer’s female protagonists an interesting reversal—they’re just as full of lust and bewilderment and bad choices as the boys they orbit, but their self-awareness lends an ache that escapes many writers."
—Kirkus Reviews

"Raw and urgent . . . Bomer does not hesitate to talk about sex, violence, the perversions we hide inside, or the forgiveness and acceptance we desire. Never for the faint of heart or weak-minded."
—BuzzFeed Books

"Bomer’s skill at getting inside the heads of unpredictable characters never fails to impress, and this new collection looks to offer more windows into complex lives."
—Electric Literature/The Outlet

"With surgical insight, Inside Madeleine delves into the most complex female territory imaginable and dissects until every honest bone is revealed. Bomer's prose doesn't flinch, doesn't filter—the bravery of these stories left me breathless."
—Alissa Nutting, author of Tampa

“The stories in Paula Bomer’s Inside Madeleine are many things—funny, horny, sad, smart—but what makes them exemplary is Bomer’s utmost fearlessness in confronting both the betrayals of the human body, and the irreparable loneliness of living inside of one. Whether we’re at a South Bend skating rink or CBGB’s, a halfway house or an anorexia ward, the humanity of Bomer’s characters is on hi-def display, allowing readers an intimate glimpse at what goes on in another person’s skin, and providing no holds barred illumination on such subjects as the uncontrollability of desire and the futility of discipline in the face of nature’s unfairness. This book is not for the faint of heart. Rather, it’s for the Reader who wants something courageously real: sweaty, bloody, beautiful.”
—Adam Wilson, author of Flatscreen

Praise for Bomer's collection Baby & Other Stories:

"Reading Baby & Other Stories is like being attacked by a rabid dog—and feeling grateful for it. This is some of the rawest and most urgent writing I can remember encountering."—Jonathan Franzen, author of The Corrections

"Dysfunctional doesn't begin to describe the marriages in this brilliant, brutally raw debut collection."
O Magazine

"In 10 raw and angry stories, Bomer flays the idea of happy little families.... This lacerating take on marriage and motherhood is not one to share with the Mommy and Me group."
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"If Bomer's harsh portrayal of modern parenting and marriage were water, it would be transparent, unflecked, jagged ice.... She lands firmly between Mary Gaitskill's articulate, unflinching anhedonia and Kathy Acker.... Amy Hempel with a twist of Grace Paley. Baby is punk rock for the roundly domesticated."

Praise for Nine Months:

"Deliciously, dangerously rogue."—Marcy Dermansky, author of Bad Marie

"Paula Bomer’s Nine Months is a daring look at motherhood, exploring the thoughts most women keep secret.... A page-turner that will tie your stomach in knots and stir up one hell of a debate."
—Susan Henderson, author of Up From the Blue

“This is a brave and provocative book about the insidious power of PC. That’s Parental Correctness, not Political Correctness... [Bomer’s] wounding analysis of herself and the vicious new mummy tribes she introduces us to make this book an instant classic.”
—The Guardian

"A raw, darkly funny, at times appalling page-turner.... Mommy lit lovers will be horrified, but Bomer's debut novel will resonate with fans of quirky, character-driven fiction in the vein of Richard Russo, John Updike, and Tiffany Baker."—Library Journal

"After reading this powerful, entertaining novel, and Bomer's excellent collection of stories, I'm convinced. Anything she writes, I want it."—PANK

Product Details
ISBN: 9781616953096
ISBN-10: 1616953098
Publisher: Soho Press
Publication Date: May 13th, 2014
Pages: 229
Language: English