Nice Big American Baby by Judy Budnitz
(Vintage Contemporaries)

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A blazingly original, profoundly moving new work of fiction by a writer whose world–and imagination–knows no boundaries. “I don’t know what planet Judy Budnitz comes from,” said Newsweek on the publication of her fiction debut, Flying Leap, “but I’m happy to have her. Tremendous . . . funny, dark, adventurous, slanted, and enchanted.” These twelve astonishingly inventive stories–which take us into the heart of America and around the globe, from suburban backyards and swimming pools to war-torn streets and fallout shelters–are riveting, seductive, and impossible to forget.

In “Flush,” a mammogram prompts a dark comedy of blurred identities between a mother and her two adult daughters. In “Elephant and Boy,” a surrogate mother-and-son bond, tinged with the erotic, is formed when a philanthropist attempts to “civilize” a young elephant handler. “Nadia” sounds the depths of a young woman’s complex feelings toward a friend’ s mail-order bride from Eastern Europe. “Preparedness”–an Orwellian tale in Technicolor–imagines rapture in the wake of imminent apocalypse. And in “Where We Come From,” a pregnant woman’s many failed attempts to cross the border do not lessen her resolve to give birth on U.S. soil to a “nice big American baby.”

Magical, poignant, often transcendent, these are virtuoso modern fables that mine our stores of hidden urges, misunderstandings, and blind passions, inviting us on a voyage through places and times at once deeply familiar and wondrously strange.

About Judy Budnitz

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Judy Budnitz’s stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, Story, The Paris Review, The Oxford American, Glimmer Train, Fence, and McSweeney’s, and she is the recipient of an O. Henry Award. Flying Leap was a New York Times Notable Book in 1998. Budnitz is also the author of the novel If I Told You Once, which won the Edward Lewis Wallant Award in the United States and was short-listed for the Orange Prize in the United Kingdom. She lives in San Francisco.  From the Trade Paperback edition.
Published December 18, 2007 by Vintage. 304 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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When his skin turns pink, she panics that he is no longer her child (every mother’s fear as her child changes, Budnitz implies).

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The New York Times

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Judy Budnitz's stories are playful and experimental, but grounded in political outrage.

Feb 20 2005 | Read Full Review of Nice Big American Baby (Vinta...

Entertainment Weekly

In "Where We Come From," a woman refuses to give birth for four… 2005-02-08 Judy Budnitz Fiction Knopf Boo...

Feb 07 2005 | Read Full Review of Nice Big American Baby (Vinta...

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