Disappearing Ingenue by Melissa Pritchard
The Misadventures of Eleanor Stoddard

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Synopsis

The ups and downs and turnarounds of a good girl who can’t help being bad no matter how hard she tries come hilariously to life in these disarming, utterly distinctive interrelated stories.

Eleanor Stoddard tries to lead an exemplary life, to pursue the high road, and better herself and the world, but somehow things keep going awry. In “Port de Bras,” even as Eleanor spends her summer reading about the Holocaust, her good intentions are disrupted by the discovery that her first best friend is a compulsive liar who has cried wolf too many times. “Salve Regina” wryly captures another ill-fated step on Eleanor’s journey toward goodness. When, much to her mother’s dismay, she dreams of becoming a nun and dutifully says her rosary in the bathroom at her first cotillion, Eleanor finds that she still can’t save a friend from the consequences of her first seduction. Her marriage brings no relief from the twists of fate–and her quirky attempts to deal with them: In “The Case of the Disappearing Ingenue,” Eleanor turns to Nancy Drew for help when she suspects that her husband may be cheating on her. In the Pushcart Prize—winning “Funktionslust,” the final story in this collection, Eleanor does get her childhood wish. . . but not exactly in the way she imagined. Traveling through Central America with a rescued laboratory gorilla, “Like a rogue saint, Eleanor Stoddard was sighted here and there, most often by the innocent.”

Disappearing Ingenue presents a heroine whose adventures with life and love are wildly imaginative.
 

About Melissa Pritchard

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Melissa Pritchard is the author of eight books of fiction, including "The Odditorium" and "Palmerino" (forthcoming from Bellevue Literary Press in 2014), and a biography of Virginia Galvin Piper that US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor called "a delight to read." Among other honors, her books have received the Flannery O'Connor, Janet Heidinger Kafka and Carl Sandburg awards and two of her short fiction collections were "New York Times" Notable Book and Editor's Choice selections. Her fiction, essays, and journalism have also appeared in numerous magazines, textbooks, anthologies, and journals, including the "Nation, Paris Review, O, The Oprah Magazine, A Public Space, Ecotone," and the "Chicago Tribune" as well as the "PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories" and "Pushcart Prize" anthologies. After working in Afghanistan as an embedded journalist, Pritchard founded the Ashton Goodman Fund in support of the Afghan Women's Writing Project. A professor of English, she teaches creative writing at Arizona State University.
 
Published May 21, 2002 by Doubleday. 256 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Disappearing Ingenue

Publishers Weekly

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This impressive new collection of eight interrelated stories from the author of Selene of the Spirits charts the journey of Eleanor Stoddard from awkward childho

Mar 25 2002 | Read Full Review of Disappearing Ingenue: The Mis...

Publishers Weekly

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This impressive new collection of eight interrelated stories from the author of Selene of the Spirits charts the journey of Eleanor Stoddard from awkward childhood through troubled adolescence and disappointing adulthood to adventurous freedom.

| Read Full Review of Disappearing Ingenue: The Mis...

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