Spilling Clarence by Anne Ursu
A Novel

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Synopsis

What if you could suddenly remember everything that ever happened in your life Would it be a blessing -- or a curse

The answer is found in Spilling Clarence, a satisfying, witty, romantic, and tender novel. In the fictional town of Clarence, Minnesota, a breakroom microwave sparks a smoky fire at the pharmaceutical factory and triggers a massive chemical spill. Panic-stricken and paralyzed, the townspeople wait until the all-clear signal to assure them everything's back to normal. Except that it isn't. Over the coming days, the citizens of Clarence fall under the spell of a strange and powerful drug that unlocks their memories. They become trapped by their own reminiscences: of love and death, of war and childhood, of family they've lost and sins they've committed.

Beautifully rendered with a light comic touch, this bittersweet first novel is about more than the sum of its beguiling parts. It's about the need to remember, and about the bliss of forgetting. A universe peopled by exquisitely drawn characters, Spilling Clarence is a funny, moving story with a truly original premise that introduces the impressive talents of an exciting new writer.

 

About Anne Ursu

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Anne Ursu is the author of Spilling Clarence. She has worked at a major book retailer, as the theater critic for City Pages (Minneapolis), and as an arts writer for the Portland Phoenix (Maine). She lives in Mountain View, California.
 
Published January 2, 2002 by Hyperion. 280 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Spilling Clarence

Kirkus Reviews

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A semi-successful debut tells the odd tale of a town afflicted—after an accident at the local chemical factory—with the burden of complete memory: it will disable its residents for days.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Spilling Clarence: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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First novelist Ursu comes off as an Alice Hoffman wannabe who doesn't quite make the grade. Like Hoffman, she creates a small community—here, the fictional Midwestern town of Clarence

Nov 12 2001 | Read Full Review of Spilling Clarence: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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First novelist Ursu comes off as an Alice Hoffman wannabe who doesn't quite make the grade.

| Read Full Review of Spilling Clarence: A Novel

Star Tribune

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Now overwhelmed by exposure to the memory enhancing gas, she tries to remember who she is and reconstruct her past: "Once upon a time there was a woman named Madeline ...

Jan 05 2002 | Read Full Review of Spilling Clarence: A Novel

Book Reporter

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Jan 23 2011 | Read Full Review of Spilling Clarence: A Novel

Reader Rating for Spilling Clarence
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