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This Will Go Down on Your Permanent Record

February 22, 2008

 Warning: this is a blatant plug. I have no qualms about that. And worse, it's for FRIENDS, our pretty-much-constant tablemates over at Featherproof Books. But I really can't let this book go unmentioned here. 

I finished Susannah Felts' debut novel, This Will Go Down on Your Permanent Record, in a day and a half, couldn't put it down. Here's why: this book is going to make a difference in young women's lives. Count on it.

If any of you are teaching, whether high school or intro to creative writing or fiction workshop, I'd keep Felts' novel in mind. The protagonist, a young woman named Vaughn, is a high school student in Nashville and a burgeoning photographer—a sort of everywoman's Asher Lev. Felts manages to recreate the essence of adolescence... Not just the awkwardness that we all remember, but also all the accompanying small thrills and fears about which I, for one, had forgotten. And she does it through the eyes of a young artist who's beginning to ask important questions about just what being an artist means. Fabulous!

One of the things that I like most about Felts' book is that, in contrast to other recent books with protagonists in high school, it doesn't feel like it's trying too hard to be something it's not, to be clever or trendy... it feels organic and true. Nuff said. Permanent Record is mos def worth checking out, recommending to your students, buying for your nieces. Read it.

Oh, and p.s. Major props to FP for getting local poster- and fine-artist Diana Sudyka to do the cover. Brownie points for reals.

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