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The Girl Who Fell from the Sky

Fiction: Popular Fiction
Unabridged   7 hour(s)
Publication date: 02/16/2010

Booklist Top 10 First Novels and Editors Choice Selection
People magazine Summer Listen
The Washington Post Best Novels

The Girl Who Fell from the Sky

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781598879230
Digital Download ISBN:9781598879377


Rachel, the daughter of a Danish mother and a black G.I., is the sole survivor of a tragic family incident. With her strict African American grandmother as her new guardian, she must attempt to come to terms with an unfathomable past and confront her own identity as a biracial young woman in a world that wants to see her as either black or white.
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Product Description

A timely and moving bicultural coming-of-age tale, based on a true story and told by an author who has struggled with the same issues as her protagonist.

The daughter of a Danish immigrant and a black G.I., Rachel survives a family tragedy only to face new challenges. Sent to live with her strict African-American grandmother in a racially divided Northwest city, she must suppress her grief and reinvent herself in a mostly black community. A beauty with light brown skin and blue eyes, she attracts much attention in her new home. The world wants to see her as either black or white, but that’s not how she sees herself.

Meanwhile, a mystery unfolds, revealing the terrible truth about Rachel’s last morning on a Chicago rooftop. Interwoven with her voice are those of Jamie, a neighborhood boy who witnessed the events, and Laronne, a friend of Rachel’s mother. Inspired by a true story of a mother’s twisted love, The Girl Who Fell from the Sky reveals an unfathomable past and explores issues of identity at a time when many people are asking “Must race confine us and define us?”

Narrated by an ensemble, with Emily Bauer (Rachel), Kathleen McInerney (Nella), and Karen Murray (Jamie, LaRone, Brick, Roger).


“The characters are drawn so vividly and portrayed so well by the narrators that their voices will continue to resonate long after the book is done. A solid hit; strongly recommended.”
      —Library Journal [starred review]

“[The narrators] tell this harrowing tale with exceptional beauty, thanks, in part, to Durrow’s artful prose. The gentleness with which the performers, particularly Bauer, as sweet-voiced Rachel, unfold the events is remarkable. These voices give a heartrending story its heart.”

“[An] insightful family saga of the toxicity of racism and the forging of the self . . . Durrow brings piercing authenticity to this provocative tale, winner of the Bellwether Prize for Fiction.”
      —Booklist [starred review]

“[A] breathless telling of a tale we’ve never heard before. Haunting and lovely, pitch-perfect.”
      —Barbara Kingsolver, author and founder of the Bellwether Prize

The Girl Who Fell from the Sky can actually fly ... Its energy comes from its vividly realized characters, from how they perceive one another. Durrow has a terrific ear for dialogue, an ability to summon a wealth of hopes and fears in a single line.”
      —New York Times Book Review

“Rachel’s voice resonated . . . in much the same way as did that of the young protagonist of The House on Mango Street. There’s an achingly honest quality to it; both wise and naive.”
      —Shannon Rhodes, NPR

“Echoes of the early Toni Morrison, resonances with Langston Hughes. . . . A stunning debut.”
      —George Hutchinson, author of In Search of Nella Larson

“That rare thing: a post-postmodern novel with heart that weaves a circle of stories about race and self-discovery into a tense and sometimes terrifying whole.”
      —Ms. Magazine

10 Best Mother’s Day Books of 2010 (Christian Science Monitor)

Best Novels of 2010 (The Washington Post)

Author Bio

HEIDI DURROW is a graduate of Stanford, Columbias Graduate School of Journalism, and Yale Law School. She is the recipient of several fellowships including one from the New York Foundation for the Arts and a Jerome Foundation Fellowship for Emerging Writers. She won top honors in the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition and the Chapter One Fiction Contest. Her writing has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, The Literary Review, The Yale Journal of Law, Feminism, Essence magazine, and Newsday. She is the recipient of Barbara Kingsolvers Bellwether Prize for Literature of Social Change. Visit Heidi Durrow's website.

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