Moving from Los Angeles to rural Texas with her junkie father after her mother's death, Jeliza-Rose drifts from the harsh reality of her childhood into a new life. Escaping into the fantasies of her own over-active imagination she discovers fireflies with names, bog men who awaken at dusk, and monster sharks swimming down railroad tracks. Her ...
Moving from Los Angeles to rural Texas with her junkie father after her mother's death, Jeliza-Rose drifts from the harsh reality of her childhood into a new life. Escaping into the fantasies of her own over-active imagination she discovers fireflies with names, bog men who awaken at dusk, and monster sharks swimming down railroad tracks. Her collection of disembodied Barbie heads share in her adventures along with her real friend Dickens. In the tradition of such cult classics as Iain Banks's THE WASP FACTORY and Patrick McCabe's THE BUTCHER BOYy, and playfully recalling ALICE IN WONDERLAND, TIDELAND, Tideland is a brilliantly dark and ingenious creation. Set in a landscape populated with singular characters and stark imagery, TIDELAND illuminates those moments when the fantastic emerges from seemingly common occurrences and lives - and a lonely child discovers magic and danger behind even the most mundane of events.
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Publishers Weekly, 2000-07-17 Traces of Faulkner's A Rose for Emily and faint echoes of the horror film classic Psycho infuse this highly charged, eccentrically imaginative narrative by the author of Branches. The unusual tale comprises mainly dialogues between 11-year-old Jeliza-Rose and her four bodiless Barbie doll heads as she wanders about the isolated landscape of a house beside the railroad tracks in bleak rural Texas, interrupted periodically by the dynamite exploding in a nearby limestone quarry. Jeliza-Rose's mother is dead from a heroin overdose. The girl's father, 67-year-old Noah, a drug-addicted, has-been rock guitarist, leaves his wife's corpse on the bed in their sleazy L.A. apartment and takes his abused, disturbed daughter on a Greyhound bus to his long-dead mother's home. There Noah pins a map of Denmark on the wall and sits and stares trancelike for days on end. Jeliza-Rose soon encounters Dell, an eccentric neighbor woman who wears a beekeeper's veil and has a brain-damaged brother named Dickens. Precocious (and often pretentious) conversations between Jeliza-Rose and her Barbie heads (one is named Classique) serve to illumine the girl's disturbed state of mind and to further the surreal plot. As Jeliza-Rose's fantasy world collides with Dell's appalling secret, a grotesque history is revealed. This brutal portrait of a young girl's unbearable childhood requires immersion in her fevered imagination, and is relieved only at the end by Jeliza-Rose's brave effort to save herself from total breakdown. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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