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How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly
Cover of How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly
How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly
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How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly is the transcendent story of a young woman who, in a twenty-four hour period, journeys through startling moments of self-discovery that lead her to a courageous and life-altering decision.

How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly is the transcendent story of a young woman who, in a twenty-four hour period, journeys through startling moments of self-discovery that lead her to a courageous and life-altering decision.

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About the Author-
  • Connie May Fowler is an essayist, screenwriter, and novelist. She is the author of five novels, including The Problem with Murmur Lee, and a memoir, When Katie Wakes. In 1996, she published Before Women Had Wings, which became a paperback bestseller and was made into a successful Oprah Winfrey Presents movie. She founded the Connie May Fowler Women With Wings Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to aiding women and children in need.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    February 22, 2010
    In this gloomy novel, Fowler (Before Women Had Wings
    ) presents a day in the life of writer Clarissa Burden, stuck in a loveless marriage and preoccupied with a joyless childhood. Memories of a cruel mother aren't the only things haunting Clarissa; a number of ghosts, including the 19th-century biracial family who had lived in Clarissa's Florida home, also weave themselves into Clarissa's story. Plagued by writer's block and suspicious of her photographer husband (and the nude models he employs), Clarissa leaves home for a day filled with spooky cemeteries, near-death experiences, life-altering conversations, exhilaration, and frustration. The plot tends to meander, incorporating not just incorporeal spirits but occasional jaunts into the minds of Florida's animals; still, Fowler produces some singularly memorable characters. By the time Clarissa stands up to her husband, readers will have suffered mightily through a sweltering Florida solstice, listening to the heroine's witty, sometimes whiney, internal monologue, and wishing for some real action. Fortunately, Fowler delivers on that wish, bringing together all her characters—dead, alive, and imagined—for an explosive conclusion.

  • Library Journal

    February 15, 2010
    In the little town called Hope, FL, it's the summer solstice, not only the longest but the hottest day of the year. On this day, Clarissa Burden's life changes irrevocably. Supporting a brutal husband who makes no living sketching and wooing frolicking female nudes and who deeply resents her successful career as a novelist, Clarissa needs release. Badly. Unbeknownst to her, there are ghosts living in her rambling home who need a release of their own. For all parties, enough is enough, and during this solstice day's long hours, things change forever. In this novel by best-selling author Fowler ("The Problem with Murmur Lee") past and present lives collide in magical and violent ways with surprising, liberating, and redeeming results. The colorful characters include an almost-angel, carnival dwarves, and anthropomorphic animals, and the result is folksy and sophisticated, and humorous yet at times grave and appalling, with the sins of the past clearly depicted. VERDICT A seductive and thoroughly satisfying read.Jyna Scheeren, NYPL

    Copyright 2010 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    March 15, 2010
    Florida novelist Clarissa Burden is suffering from writers block. She lacks no creativity when daydreaming up death scenarios for her philandering buffoon of a husband, but when it comes time to put fingers to keyboard, her mind is blank. However, on June 21, 2006 (the longest, hottest day of the year), Clarissa will encounter no less than a multitude of ghosts, a one-armed angel, a one-eyed man, a sexy young love interest, a dwarf circus, and a host of critters. Each one in some way will grant her the courage it will take to escape the dull monotony of her day-to-day existence and write a new story. As in Sugar Cage (1992) and Before Women Had Wings (1996), Fowler lends magic and voice to the singular Florida landscape. In addition, this time she blurs the line between the written and the writer as we witness Clarissas brave discovery that the real truth is often the most risky tale to tell.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2010, American Library Association.)

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    Grand Central Publishing
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  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly
How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly
Connie May Fowler
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