From the start of Elizabeth McKenzie’s beguiling fiction debut, we are drawn into the offbeat worldview of sharp-eyed, intrepid Ann Ransom. Stop That Girl chronicles Ann’s colorful coming-of-age travails, from her childhood in a disjointed family through her tender adolescence and beyond. Along the way, she discovers the absurdities that lurk around every corner of a young woman’s life, by way of oafish neighbors, overzealous boyfriends, prurient vegetable salesmen, sour landlords, and an iconoclast grandmother, known even to her family as Dr. Frost. Keenly funny and highly original, Stop That Girl is a brilliant examination of the exigencies of love and the fragile fabric of family, and heralds the emergence of a remarkable new voice in fiction.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: Stop That Girl|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||Stop That Girl|
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Stop That Girl
STOP THAT GIRL
My mother and I lived alone then, in a pink bungalow in Long Beach, with a small yard full of gopher holes and the smell of the refinery settling over everything we had. We couldn’t leave our glasses on the shelves a week without them gathering a fine mist of oil. I thought we had a real life anyway, before my mother started over.
We employed a stocky Yorkshire woman to walk me home from school past the barbershop with the unhappy mynah bird. “Kill me!” it suggested as we passed by.
I never knew my father. Named Ransom, he was some frat boy who danced well. Mom believed I’d have a leveler head.
My mother worked in petroleum research. She was a geology major in college and went to field camps in Wyoming and was renowned for shooting a bobcat at a hundred yards while it was cuffing around her professor’s beagle. For the oil company, she looked through telescopes at the moon, as if there might be something useful up there. Mom felt her job was a joke. When she came home at night, she locked herself in the bathroom for an hour, taking a hot bath filled with salts.
She was said to look like Lauren Bacall in those days and dated a few of the engineers from the refinery. While Mom went searching for her purse and coat, they would bribe me with something, like it was up to me to release her: Silly Putty, a magnet, a comic book, a stuffed pig with a music box in it.
There we are in Long Beach the fall I’m nearly eight, when the nights have grown cooler and our gas wall unit bangs out its stale-smelling heat, and we’re on the brink of changes so vast it’s hard to believe we don’t see