Tunneling by Beth Bosworth
A Novel

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Synopsis

Rachel Finch is twelve years old and in love—not with a neighborhood boy, but with the Dewey decimal system, call numbers and the cellophane covers of library books . . . also with time travel, a superhero she knows only as S-Man and, above all, Franz Kafka. She considers herself a very different young girl—until she makes the acquaintance of a classmate who challenges that sense of otherness.

In this utterly inventive debut novel, we are irresistibly drawn into a world where Rachel, who many years later narrates our story, has begun to lead a double life. Severely asthmatic and deemed bookish and delicate by her family, she takes clandestine time-bending excursions with S-Man to rescue some of history’s greatest literary geniuses. Swooping in on Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde and Chinua Achebe, among others, Rachel’s rescue missions are a rollicking ride through literary history, while her day-to-day life in Teaneck, New Jersey, emotively reflects the civil rights movement in 1960s America.

Writing with a confidence, intelligence and playfulness rare for a first-time novelist, Beth Bosworth has given us a book brimming with magical realism and boundless imagination, in which literary references, great humor and political consciousness fully blossom into a significance far beyond the grasp of a twelve-year-old girl. Witty and wise, with deftly rendered shadings of the heart, Tunneling is at once boldly fanciful and remarkably down-to-earth.
 

About Beth Bosworth

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BETH BOSWORTH is the author of A Burden of Earth and Other Stories and of numerous stories, which have appeared in "The Kenyon Review" and elsewhere. She is founding editor of "The Saint Ann's Review" and has taught English and writing at Saint Ann's School, The New School for Social Research and CUNY's New York City Technical College. She lives in Brooklyn with her family. "From the Hardcover edition.
 
Published July 22, 2003 by Shaye Areheart Books. 304 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Rachel Fish shares Rachel Finch’s (if you like the book, you’ll also like the name similarity) literary passions and is equally if more bravely dorky.

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Publishers Weekly

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Zipping through time with the cape-wearing ("Holy Mother Planet!") S-Man, the adolescent bookworm helps Shakespeare through writer's block, has amazingly erudite encounters with Oscar Wilde, Chinua Achebe, Madame de Pompadour, Aquaman and others, while also battling evil-doers like stinky Malathi...

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