mathilda savitch

“A Salingeresque wonder of a first novel.”
The New York Times


"Victor Lodato's debut novel has just made the search for the best U.S. novel of 2009 much, much simpler. With its utterly captivating voice, brisk plot and timely but lasting philosophical investigations, Mathilda Savitch is one of the strongest debut novels to arrive in decades. If the world is as just and rewarding as the fierce little Mathilda wants it to be, the Pulitzer and Oprah will let her have her say. And once Mathilda starts talking, few of us will want her to stop. The voice, social relevance, exuberance and varied accuracy of this novel all make it very strong; when its emotional and social wisdom get delivered through Mathilda's unforgettable voice, we're in the grip of a truly great novel.”
–Darryl Whetter, Globe and Mail (Canada)


“From page one, the outrageous, pitch-perfect voice of this book grabs you up and won’t let go. A bravura performance.”
–Mary Karr, author of The Liars’ Club and Lit


“The first novel from poet and playwright Lodato is a stunning portrait of grief and youthful imagination. Narrator Mathilda Savitch is an adolescent girl negotiating life after the death of her older sister, Helene. Her parents, especially her alcoholic mother, are too traumatized to give her the comfort she needs, so she lives in an elaborate world of her own invented logic. Mathilda evaluates sex, religion and national tragedy in language that is constantly surprising, amusing and often heartbreaking … Lodato chooses every word with extreme care; Mathilda’s observations read like a finely crafted epic poem, whose themes and imagery paint an intricate map of her inner life. She’s a metaphysical Holden Caulfield for the terrifying present day.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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Mathilda Savitch

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Winner PEN USA Award for Fiction
Winner Barnes & Noble Discover Prize

A Christian Science Monitor Best Book of 2009
A Booklist Best Book of 2009
A Globe and Mail Best Book of 2009


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