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Girl, World


RECOMMENDED by The US Review of Books, 35 Over 35 Debut Book Award Winner, Montaigne Medal Finalist, First Horizon Award Finalist, Eric Hoffer Grand Prize Short List, Eric Hoffer Book Award Winner – Honorable Mention

“I wondered if Bridget was going out after her all-inclusive chapel stop and if she had any friends either. Even though she meant well, in her own way, the other nursing aides kept their distance. Bridget was pretty in that conventional style that women found reassuring and men found non-threatening, so she’d probably never had a locked and loaded 45 held at the base of her skull as someone older and of a higher rank than she pulled down her pants against her will and made her cry. I could imagine Bridget marrying one of the charity cases in wheelchairs, an officer candidate friend of her brother’s, someone with a short life expectancy and a generous pension payout, someone who told blond jokes and could not fuck his wife but actually liked women.” –Alex Poppe (From “Room 308” in Girl, World)

PRAISE FOR Girl, World

“Poppe’s range as a writer is evident as she moves from heartbreaking to humorous, hopeful to shattering in the span of eight powerful stories. This collection showcases the searing violence women experience in places across cultures and geography. From the Balkans to New York, the women in these stories struggle to overcome the atrocities that have broken apart their lives. The stories feel authentic and true as if these women are real and moving about in the world with all their hopes and sorrows trailing behind them. Poppe’s ability as a writer and as an observer of humanity gives body, soul, and voice to these characters.” –Michelle Jacobs, The U.S. Review of Books; RECOMMENDED

“Alex Poppe, trained as an actress, gave up her career and in a courageous move few Western women would dare to make, went alone to Iraq to become a teacher, fulfilled a dream and became a writer. Her story is inspiring and her talent is clear and her writing is bold and vivid. Her work is about women and what it is like to be a woman, but only partially, for her work is much more about the vast, nervous, unsettled world from the Balkans to Kurdistan to New York. She is a writer with the eye of a journalist whose prose is bold, unique, unsparing, and vivid. Her stories can be hard to read, but the reader knows they are true and that is why they are good. She is a writer on her way and one to watch.” –Jere Van Dyk, Journalist, CBS News, author of Captive and The Trade: My Journey into the Labyrinth of Political Kidnapping

“Since the dawn of the Digital Revolution, facts have fallen into disrepute. They’re too contradictory, too refutable, too malleable. Histories too have fallen into dis- favor, a mere thesis feeling unequal to the complex ambiguities of our times. It is the fiction writers who have been filling this vacuum, wanting to capture the essence, often the essential horror, of a time and place. Above all, perhaps, is Land of Green Plums, what history could depict Müller’s portrait of Ceausescu’s Romania. But more recently we have seen Englander’s Argentina and Marra’s Chechnya. Now here comes Alex Poppe’s debut collection, Girl, World, with its similar ambitions. A panoramic view of women’s lives from the sex-trafficking gulags to Kurdistan, from the rape victims to social media Islam, this is a searing collection of up-to-the-second stories. Unsentimental, driven by sparking kinetic language, Poppe swaps backgrounds while never losing sight of the essence of what it means to be a woman in the second decade of our new century. She is generous to the reader, there is nothing polemical here, just searing honest snapshots of courage against horrendous odds.” –Joel Hinman, Editor-at-Large, Epiphany Magazine

“Girl, World had me gripped from the very first page, many of its voices will stay with me for a very long time; all of them are deserving of a novel of their own, in fact! This fascinating, edgy, and accomplished collection often draws on the author’s own experiences in some of the most troubled parts of the world and even when she throws her characters into the most awful situations, she has a talent for finding humor, energy and sometimes, rays of hope. Girl, World the experience of young women today in ways that are by turns surprising, funny, and devastating. Poppe is a writer to watch.” Zoe Strachan, author of Negative Space, winner of the Betty Trask award

“Alex Poppe’s characters bristle with dark humor and pathos, as they navigate situations that range from disconcerting to tragic. With a rare talent for dialogue and an unerring sense of plot, Poppe draws readers irresistibly into her sharply drawn worlds, at once familiar and utterly strange.” –Jim Hicks, author of Lessons from Sarajevo: A War Stories Primer and editor of The Massachusetts Review

“A thought-provoking collection where the big political story never overshadows the small personal story. Mixing lyricism, stark realism, and vivacious language, Alex Poppe creates unforgettable characters who struggle with grief, betrayal, violence, and alienation. These stories celebrate the fragile beauty of everyday life.” Larysa Kondracki, writer/director, The Whistleblower

Published by Laughing Fire Press