The Illustrated Version of Things

Affinity Konar, Author . Univ. of Alabama/Fiction Collective Two $17.95 (229p) ISBN 978-1-57366-147-8

Emotionally raw and curiously disjointed, this first novel follows the increasing alienation of a mentally unstable young woman in pursuit of her mother. The unnamed narrator and her younger half-brother, Miguel, were taken from their addict mother and grew up in numerous foster homes. Over the last year the narrator has been institutionalized, then placed with her dotty grandparents, while Miguel has been living with a more conventional family and attending high school. Though the narrator wants to be part of Miguel’s clean-cut new life, her ill-fated attempts at fitting in—cheating, selling her meds—only embarrass him. For a while, she is reunited with her biological father, but she begins to wander from one bizarre adventure to another, in and out of jobs, then returns to the hospital, hoping to be readmitted. The search for her mother begins to consume her, perilously, as she turns delusional, all the while grasping for scraps of information that win her more derision than sympathy. Konar’s daffy coming-of-age novel isn’t entirely convincing, but the moments of bold, vivid prose show promise. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 01/26/2009
Release date: 01/01/2009
Open Ebook - 231 pages - 978-1-57366-803-3
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