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10 thoughts on “Nice Big American Baby

  1. Katie Katie says:

    I read Miracle in the New Yorker probably four years ago and it's stayed in my mind than any other short story I've ever read I'm pretty sure it's perfect A lot of these stories have that same feeling of strangeness they put normal people into various sets of surreal and often suggestive of Big Conditions social political human etc circumstances without demanding to be deciphered or running full on into heavy handed symbolism or allegory Hooray for residing in mystery

  2. Laura Grunberger Laura Grunberger says:

    This is absolutely phenomenal Great short stories reminiscent of George Saunders surreal and creepy and very moving all at once Blew me away

  3. Margaret Carmel Margaret Carmel says:

    Based on the glowing reviews and blurbs on the back of this book I was expecting to like it a lot than I did Judy Budnitz is certainly a very creative mind but I wasn't always sure where she was going with her stories In this collection she explores the themes of mothers and daughters what desperate measures does to society and political topics through magical realism Some of my favorite stories here like Preparedness and Where We Come From are incredibly relevant political commentary even over a decade after this book came out Her take on Orwell's 1984 in Saving Face was also a highlight for me She really hits her stride when she walks the line between fantasy and realism by using magic to talk about reality Other stories that seem to be based on a thought experiment or on the side of make believe like Miracle and Elephant and Boy fell completely flat for me Nadia was another weak point I think because it felt the most realistic of all of the stories This is an interesting collection but I don't think it's consistently as good as other people say it is

  4. Lili Lili says:

    Only read one short story from this anthology Morherland It was for class but I was still very impressed by this powerful story

  5. Nicole Nicole says:

    These stories present a world to us that is almost familiar but twist that familiarity by adding some surreal element A pregnant girl gestates for years while attempting to cross from Mexico into America so the child can be an American baby a white couple give birth to a black child His skin has the solid inorganic sheen of obsidian an iridescence like oil daughters stand in for their frightened mother's mammogram appointments a wartime doctor plants and cultivates a field of amputated limbs these things take place in otherwise everyday worlds and are woven carefully and often with beautiful languageThere are several themes that reappear over the course of this collection Where We Come From Miracle and Motherland focus on unusual parenting situations while Flush and Visitors turn the tables and show us grown children trying to care and be responsible for their infantile parents Identity and how we define ourselves comes up over and over again Where We Come From Nadia Elephant and Boy and Saving Face all have some element of this at their core Saving Face handles it particularly wellThe writing is good and the things the author is pondering are interesting but these things work for her better in some stories than others In Preparedness the brief foray into a strange land at the end feels forced and disconnected; the opening section of Where We Come From doesn't add to the story of Precious's unusual pregnancy especially since we never see or hear about her family again There are moments when the bizarre comes across as too abrupt or contrived just too much weird without good enough reason for it When she takes the time to ease me in to it I'm completely on board and just enjoying the read

  6. Trena Trena says:

    I will not blame this book for the security guard at the library who when he saw its title asked if somebody was expecting Hmph I teetered between 3 and 4 stars but at the end I think it earned the fourth star Budnitz's magical realism is an interesting twist on the genre which is generally associated with LatinoChicano writers The first and title story is a nod to these roots but the stories branch out from there The short stories are a good length long enough to develop characters but not so long that you can't devour them at once each one takes about 20 30 minutes The themes situations and characters showed a good range I highly recommend

  7. Marie Marie says:

    Absolutely brilliant I would have never known about this author but the title of the book was interesting so I picked it off the shelf fully thinking I would put it back after a few seconds But the reviews were enough to make me take the book home All of them were well deserved Judy Budnitz is a wonderful writer with an imagination that simply defies comprehension at times Each of her short story was a world of its own complete and wonderful or horrible frightening or full of tenderness I'm not usually one for short stories but this was absolutely worth the read

  8. Bonnie Bonnie says:

    Usually short stories disappoint me by being too weird or I don't even understand them or most are of a topic so tragic or sad that the author wouldn't want to write a whole book about it My opinion only And usually books of short stories are not page turners for me wellthese short stories are page turners and pull you right into them Ms Budnitz is so very talented that even if she writes a weird story it's still so good you're glad you read it Now that Ive finished this book I've read everything of hers so I guess that makes me a fan I'm waiting for

  9. Will Will says:

    What an amazing collection of stories Funny and odd compelling and though provoking Each story harbors a seemingly usual circumstance but then Budnitz twists them and they become perverse in the best possible way Because that perversity however slight or extreme makes you reconsider your expectations

  10. Cathy Cathy says:

    Loved these hilarious biting stories Well actually they ranged from light and witty to heavier and telling of our current culture They were so well done So clever original such neat ideas and ways of expressing issues I laughed out loud at some of the outlandish tales Very sharp writer

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Nice Big American Baby ❮Read❯ ➵ Nice Big American Baby ➹ Author Judy Budnitz – 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 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 forgetIn “Flush” a mammogram prompts a dark comedy of blurred identities between a Nice Big Kindle - 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 US 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.