Let's No One Get Hurt by Jon Pineda
A Novel

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Though its narrative focus can at times feel almost claustrophobic, this novel's terrific sense of place, haunting character dynamics, and assured narrative voice make it memorable.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

“An inventive and powerful coming of age story about the search for community and all the ways our ties to one another come undone. Jon Pineda has a poet’s eye for the details of this vivid, haunting landscape, and he brings it blazingly to life.” ―Jenny Offill, author of Dept. of Speculation

With the cinematic and terrifying beauty of the American South humming behind each line, Jon Pineda’s Let’s No One Get Hurt is a coming-of-age story set equally between real-world issues of race and socioeconomics, and a magical, Huck Finn-esque universe of community and exploration.

Fifteen-year-old Pearl is squatting in an abandoned boathouse with her father, a disgraced college professor, and two other grown men, deep in the swamps of the American South. All four live on the fringe, scavenging what they can―catfish, lumber, scraps for their ailing dog. Despite the isolation, Pearl feels at home with her makeshift family: the three men care for Pearl and teach her what they know of the world.

Mason Boyd, aka “Main Boy,” is from a nearby affluent neighborhood where he and his raucous friends ride around in tricked-out golf carts, shoot their fathers’ shotguns, and aspire to make Internet pranking videos. While Pearl is out scavenging in the woods, she meets Main Boy, who eventually reveals that his father has purchased the property on which Pearl and the others are squatting. With all the power in Main Boy’s hands, a very unbalanced relationship forms between the two kids, culminating in a devastating scene of violence and humiliation.

 

About Jon Pineda

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Jon Pineda was born in Charleston, South Carolina and raised in Chesapeake, Virginia. He is the recipient of a Virginia Commission for the Arts Individual Artist fellowship, and the author of the memoir Sleep in Me, a Barnes & Noble "Discover Great New Writers" selection and a Library Journal "Best Books of 2010" selection. His poetry collections include The Translator's Diary, winner of the 2007 Green Rose Prize from New Issues Poetry & Prose, and Birthmark, selected by Ralph Burns as winner of the 2003 Crab Orchard Award Series Open Competition. His newest manuscript was a finalist for the 2011 National Poetry Series. He teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Queens University of Charlotte and lives in Virginia with his family. Apology is his first novel.
 
Published March 20, 2018 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 256 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Let's No One Get Hurt
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Above average
on Dec 24 2017

Though its narrative focus can at times feel almost claustrophobic, this novel's terrific sense of place, haunting character dynamics, and assured narrative voice make it memorable.

Read Full Review of Let's No One Get Hurt: A Novel | See more reviews from Kirkus

NPR

Above average
Reviewed by Michael Schaub on Mar 21 2018

Of course, it's hard to translate a poem written in a language that hasn't been invented yet, and Pearl is one of a kind. Let's No One Get Hurt is an excellent coming-of-age novel that explores how we deal, or don't deal, with loss and abandonment, and how we can create new versions of ourselves when we're forced to.

Read Full Review of Let's No One Get Hurt: A Novel | See more reviews from NPR
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