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Glaciares by Alexis M. Smith
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Glaciares (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Alexis M. Smith (Author), Mercedes Cebrián (Translator)

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2942438,184 (3.73)22
Member:olaia999
Title:Glaciares
Authors:Alexis M. Smith (Author)
Other authors:Mercedes Cebrián (Translator)
Info:Barcelona : Alpha Decay
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:ficción

Work details

Glaciers (A Tin House New Voice) by Alexis Smith (2012)

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» See also 22 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
This is a short novel of a twenty-something hipster librarian in Portland who likes a coworker, eats vegetarian, shops at secondhand stores, has artsy gay friends, day dreams about Amsterdam (a city where she's never been) and reminisces about Alaska where she lived as a young girl.

If you were to judge this book by its cover, you would see a dress on the front and assume that this was a girly book. If you did, you would be absolutely correct. I picked this book up from the library upon seeing it on the NPR 'Summer Reads Handpicked by Indie booksellers list' where it compared this novel to Paul Harding's Tinkers. While this is a book about a twenty something love sick lady and Harding's novel is about a dying man, there is a stylistic similarity. Both books juxtapose the past with the present, switching between the two. Both authors have something against quotation marks to designate dialogue. Harding's book is less linear and the better book but this one is well written and interesting for a short novel.

Now I am going to do something manly. ( )
  Jamichuk | May 22, 2017 |
This slight novel — really more of a novella — is the debut work by Alexis Smith. It's set entirely in the course of one day in the life of Isabella, an overly serious young woman who has a strong affinity for discarded things — old postcards and photographs of unknown people, vintage clothes, secondhand furniture. Through brief flashbacks we are given some hints of how she came to be this way — growing up in Alaska, realizing she's the ugly sister, her parents' divorce. They all add up to what she is today: almost entirely directed inward, unable to express her romantic interest in a co-worker until it's too late.

The writing is spare and lovely, but in some fundamental way for me there was no 'there' there in this book. It felt ultimately unsatisfying because there is no real resolution, only the end of the day. Even making allowances for it being a debut novel, it didn't quite hold together for me.

One passage to give you a feel for the writing:
We mean nothing, she thinks, looking at Molly looking at her. We will survive and continue to mean nothing. He will go back to the war and kill or be killed. We might appear in his dreams along with girls who went to his high school, girls who lived next door, girls who shop and work and drink beer at summer parties, girls he slept with or wanted to sleep with, girls who want to save him or be saved by him. When he dreams of them, he will open his mouth to speak and these girls will go off like bombs. Boom. Pieces of girls everywhere. ( )
  rosalita | Jan 31, 2017 |
Last year I discovered, rather by accident, Jac Jemc's beautiful debut novel My Only Wife, and I fell utterly in love. I recommended it to everyone I met, and still do -- it was easily my favorite book of last year.

Alexis Smith's Glaciers is that book this year. Quiet, unassuming, yet profoundly intimate and deeply moving, the whole short novel feels like a poem written in a notebook I found on a bench somewhere, an unintended invitation into someone else's life. Of course, this is a poor analogy, because the book itself offers the better one: postcards of journeys never taken but often dreamed of, these little glimpses into the lives of strangers we feel we know from a dream somewhere.

It's a glimmering jewel of a novel, and a heart-strumming first book by an author I will eagerly beg more of. ( )
  Snoek-Brown | Feb 7, 2016 |
This was a quick read but most of the stories left me wanting more from the author. But I like fiction with just the right amount of detail. Leave the blanks for me to fill.
That being said a few of the stories in this book will come back to me. Her reflections of her childhood and her relationships with her parents and sister are reveling to the character that she turns into. And while I do not prefer to read fiction that has such a void I found that a few of her stories developed the characters beautifully around the void of descriptive words that often clutter a perfectly good story. ( )
  untitled841 | Aug 20, 2015 |
Love the quiet, studied way that threads of the main character's story are woven in and out of past and present. Really real, and bittersweet knowledge of Life. ( )
  MargaretPinardAuthor | May 23, 2015 |
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Isabel often thinks of Amsterdam, though she has never been there, and probably never will go.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 193563920X, Paperback)

Isabel is a single, twentysomething thrift-store shopper and collector of remnants, things cast off or left behind by others. Glaciers follows Isabel through a day in her life in which work with damaged books in the basement of a library, unrequited love for the former soldier who fixes her computer, and dreams of the perfect vintage dress move over a backdrop of deteriorating urban architecture and the imminent loss of the glaciers she knew as a young girl in Alaska.

Glaciers unfolds internally, the action shaped by Isabel’s sense of history, memory, and place, recalling the work of writers such as Jean Rhys, Marguerite Duras, and Virginia Woolf. For Isabel, the fleeting moments of one day can reveal an entire life. While she contemplates loss and the intricate fissures it creates in our lives, she accumulates the stories—the remnants—of those around her and she begins to tell her own story.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:58 -0400)

"Isabel is a single, twentysomething thrift-store shopper and collector of remnants, things cast off or left behind by others. 'Glaciers' follows Isabel through a day in her life in which work with damaged books in the basement of a library, unrequited love for the former soldier who fixes her computer, and dreams of the perfect vintage dress move over a backdrop of deteriorating urban architecture and the imminent loss of the glaciers she knew as a young girl in Alaska."--from cover, p. [2]… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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