"Beautiful and . . . elegantly wry, this story of an abandoned girl . . . is also the story of storytelling-and how it develops as a means to order one's disordered world."--The Believer
Set in the Midwest, where Florida represents a faraway paradise, this elegiac and luminous novel tells the story of Alice Fivey. Her father long gone and her mother--whose "toenails winked in the foil bed we knew for Florida"--newly institutionalized, Alice is left in the care of relatives at age ten. While others try to mold her into someone different from her mother, she consoles herself with books and becomes a storyteller herself until, moving into adulthood, she finds the meaning of her own experience.
Told in brief scenes of spare beauty, Florida is a graceful and gripping tale of family, forgiveness, and creation of the self. In what John Ashbery called "an amazing achievement" and Mary Gordon dubbed "a wholly original endeavor," Christine Schutt gives voice to the feast of memory, the mystery of the mad and missing, and the power of words.
"Schutt's subjects--love, family, death--are not new, but her lush, spilling style is fresh. This slender book grows plump on language."--Newsday
"The luxury of this debut novel is its rich, descriptive language. It's harnessed with powerful simplicity."--The Christian Science Monitor
Christine Schutt is the author of the short-story collections Nightwork and A Day, A Night, Another Day, Summer. Her work, which has garnered an O. Henry Prize and a Pushcart Prize, is published widely in literary journals. Schutt lives and teaches in New York City.