About the Book
These ten stories are irresistible because their author is both fearless and ambitious. Newman switches points of view effortlessly, brings us to far-flung regions of the world, and has an uncanny, authentic grasp of cultures. We travel from Varanasi to Tijuana, from Rome to Lhasa, to New Orleans, Valdez, Barcelona and the Isle of Skye. The characters are just as diverse: Maggie, who is taking the ghost of her dead brother and her guilt on a spiritual trek of redemption to the Annapurna Sanctuary in Nepal; Gomez, who has a date with destiny in the syrup aisle at the Tijuana hypermarket, while his friend Chuy carries Jesus on his back through the street vendors at the Mexican/US crossing; a Norwegian preacher relocates to Varanasi India in a valiant effort to convert Hindus and Muslims to Christianity, while his son watches the bodies burn on the banks of the Ganges; and in the title story, the women who run an undercover orphanage in New Orleans don habits by day, but play poker at night. While these fictions occur thousands of miles apart and evince wildly different cultures and situations, they are unified in their portrayal of ordinary citizens of the world struggling against extraordinary events. And they are written with a remarkable mixture of pathos and humor.
Praise for The Franklin Avenue Rookery for Wayward Babies
Newman excels at succinctly providing her characters with rich histories and surprising, well-executed turns. . . .She can be inventive with form and creative with plotting. There are moments of tenderness and insight.
― Kirkus Reviews
The Franklin Avenue Rookery for Wayward Babies is a wonderful work of imagination and art. Every story sings and resonates, surprises and delights. This is a beautiful collection of unforgettable stories, and Laura Newman is a supremely gifted writer. I can not recommend it more highly.
― John Lescroart, New York Times bestselling author of The Rule of Law.
Laura Newman aims this dazzling collection of stories straight at us, straight from the heart. By turns wry, madcap and tragic, we are in the hands of an intrepid storyteller. These generous tales are an antidote–maybe even healing–for times we feel mired in our own here and now. A work of boundless imagination, we’re lifted out of ourselves and into the wondrous world of others.
― Joanne Meschery, Pen/Faulkner nominee for The Gentlemen’s Guide to the Frontier
The Franklin Avenue Rookery for Wayward Babies is wildly expansive in its reach through space, time, and perspective, all of it charged with empathy and a zingy chord of humor. These stories help us see the world afresh; they remind us we can find deep connection in the most unexpected places, in the most surprising ways. Laura Newman’s sweeping imagination, quirky wit, and singular charm add up to an invigorating, unforgettable read.
― Gayle Brandeis, author of The Book of Dead Birds
A wonderful collection of world ranged stories told in world class writing. A marvelous group of stories told with heart and humor.
― Joseph L Cacibauda author of Not For Self: A Sicilian Life and Death in Marion
About the Author
The Franklin Avenue Rookery for Wayward Babies is Laura Newman’s second collection of short stories. One story in this new collection, “Swisher Sweets,” was a finalist for LitMag’s Virginia Woolf Award for Short Fiction. Laura founded the “Heroin Committee,” and she continues to work through JTNN.org to produce and run public service announcements to educate parents and the community about substance abuse issues. She is an Addy Award and American Marketing Association winner for the production of these PSAs. She lives in Reno, Nevada.