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How To Be Lost Hardcover – Import, 30 October 2004

4.1 out of 5 stars 76 ratings

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Product description Review

Sometimes an off-key phrase in a soulful song can wrench at the heart, nay, the soul and send one off into that same far-away place that a great book can take you to. Amanda Eyre Ward's second novel, How to Be Lost, provides for the reader with a finely-tuned ear, a nicely wrought, syncopated, octave-changing story. Featuring a hard-living, almost down-on-her-luck narrator, How to Be Lost isn't lost at all when it comes to telling a literary mystery wrapped in the arms of a strong woman's tale. Ward's story bounces between New Orleans and New York, taking her protagonist, Caroline, into steely encounters with her somewhat-estranged family, especially her older sister and mother, as they continue, many years after the fact, to deal with the wrenching effects of the unresolved disappearance of Ellie, the youngest of the Winters family. Readers may find uncanny similarities between the eerie tone and dark nature of Deborah Schupack's The Boy on the Bus but won't be disappointed at all with the story that unfolds and the clever, darkly humorous nature of Ward's pitch-perfect voice. --E. Brooke Gilbert

From Booklist

Fifteen years ago, on the day the three Winters sisters packed their most precious belongings in their mother's Oldsmobile and planned to run away from home just as soon as school was out, 5-year-old Ellie disappeared. The family never recovered: their abusive father drank himself to death; their unstable mother retreated deeper into her depression; and once-close sisters Caroline and Madeline grew far apart. Now, armed with a grainy People magazine photo of a young woman who might be a 20-year-old version of her beloved youngest sister, Caroline heads out for Montana on a quest to bring her back home. What Caroline, burdened by years of guilt, doubt, and regret, discovers along the way has as much to do with finding herself as it does with tracking down Ellie. Ward's smart, sharp second novel is a read-in-one-sitting treat, a delightfully satisfying blend of hip humor and poignant longing, and an unsentimental yet inspiring testimony to the power of hope over reason and love over loss. Carol Haggas
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Macadam Cage Pub (30 October 2004)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 290 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1931561729
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1931561723
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 476 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 13.97 x 3.18 x 20.96 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.1 out of 5 stars 76 ratings

About the author

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Amanda Eyre Ward's new novel, THE JETSETTERS, will be published in Spring, 2020!

Amanda was born in New York City in 1972. Her family moved to Rye, New York when she was four. Amanda attended Kent School in Kent, CT, where she wrote for the Kent News.

Amanda majored in English and American Studies at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. She studied fiction writing with Jim Shepard and spent her junior fall in coastal Kenya. She worked part-time at the Williamstown Public Library. After graduation, Amanda taught at Athens College in Greece for a year, and then moved to Missoula, Montana.

Amanda studied fiction writing at the University of Montana with Bill Kittredge, Dierdre McNamer, Debra Earling, and Kevin Canty, receiving her MFA. After traveling to Egypt, she took a job at the University of Montana Mansfield Library, working in Inter Library Loan.

In 1998, Amanda moved to Austin, Texas where she began working on Sleep Toward Heaven. She wrote for the Austin Chronicle and worked for a variety of Internet startups. In 1999, Amanda won third prize in the Austin Chronicle short story contest with her story Miss Montana’s Wedding Day.

She published Butte as in Beautiful that same year.

In July, 2000, Amanda married the geologist Tip Meckel in Ouray, Colorado.

They spent a summer in New Orleans, Louisiana, where Amanda wrote the short stories The Beginning of the Wrong Novel and Classified.

During that summer, Amanda finished Sleep Toward Heaven, which was published in 2003. Sleep Toward Heaven won the Violet Crown Book Award and was optioned for film by Sandra Bullock and Fox Searchlight. To promote Sleep Toward Heaven, Amanda, her baby, and her mother Mary-Anne Westley traveled to London and Paris.

Amanda moved to Waterville, Maine, where she wrote in an attic filled with books. Amanda’s second novel, How to Be Lost, was published in 2004. How to Be Lost was selected as a Target Bookmarked pick, and has been published in fifteen countries.

After one year in Maine and two years on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Amanda and her family returned to Austin, Texas.

To research her third novel, Forgive Me, Amanda traveled with her sister, Liza Ward Bennigson, to Cape Town, South Africa. Forgive Me was published in 2007.

Amanda's short story collection, Love Stories in This Town, was published in April, 2009.

Her fourth novel, Close Your Eyes, published in July, 2011, received a four-star reiew in People Magazine, won the Elle Lettres Readers' Prize for September, and inspired the Dallas Morning News to write, "With CLOSE YOUR EYES, Austin novelist Amanda Eyre Ward puts another jewel in her crown as the reigning doyenne of 'dark secrets' literary fiction."

Close Your Eyes was named in Kirkus' Best Books of 2011, and won the Elle Magazine Fiction Book of the Year. It was released in paperback in August, 2012.

Amanda's fifth novel, The Same Sky, was published on January 20, 2015. It was named one of the most anticipated books for 2015 by BookPeople and Book of the Week by People Magazine. Dallas Morning News writes, "Ward has written a novel that brilliantly attaches us to broader perspectives. It is a needed respite from the angry politics surrounding border issues that, instead of dividing us, connects us to our humanity."

The Nearness of You was published on Valentine's Day, 2017.

Amanda currently writes every morning and spends afternoons with her children.

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