Lucky Girls

Lucky Girls Lucky Girls is the debut collection by an author who first came to national attention with the publication of the title story in The New Yorker fiction issue Here are five stories set in Southea

  • Title: Lucky Girls
  • Author: Nell Freudenberger
  • ISBN: 9780060088798
  • Page: 132
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Lucky Girls is the debut collection by an author who first came to national attention with the 2001 publication of the title story in The New Yorker fiction issue.Here are five stories, set in Southeast Asia and on the Indian subcontinent each on bearing the weight and substance of a short novella narrated by young women who find themselves, often as expatriates, facLucky Girls is the debut collection by an author who first came to national attention with the 2001 publication of the title story in The New Yorker fiction issue.Here are five stories, set in Southeast Asia and on the Indian subcontinent each on bearing the weight and substance of a short novella narrated by young women who find themselves, often as expatriates, face to face with the compelling circumstances of adult love Living in unfamiliar places, according to new and often frightening rules, these characters become vulnerable in unexpected ways and learn, as a result, to articulate the romantic attraction to landscapes and cultures that are strange to them.In Lucky Girls, an American woman who has been involved in a five year affair with a married Indian man feels bound, following his untimely death, to her memories of him, and to her adopted country The protagonist of Outside the Eastern Gate returns to her childhood home in Delhi to discover a house still inhabited by the desperate and impulsive spirit of her mother who, years before, abandoned her family for a wild, dangerous journey across the Kyber Pass to Afghanistan And, in Letter from the Last Bastion, a teenage girl begins a correspondence with a middle aged male novelist, who, having built his reputation writing about his experiences as a soldier in Vietnam, confides in her the secret truth of those experiences, and the lie that has defined his life as a man.

    One thought on “Lucky Girls”

    1. It's hard to be objective when the reason you picked up this book in the first place was jealousy. You had just finished your M.F.A. Saved on your computer was a spreadsheet listing every single rejection letter you ever received -- and the list was long. You had pretty much given up on creative writing all together and had settled for a horrible job in community journalism.And Nell came along, and she was your age and pretty and her first story was published in the New Yorker, of all places. An [...]

    2. "What's that game where the wooden blocks are stacked so precariously and wooble on their tippy toes till they crash?" "You mean Jenga?" "Perhaps, perhaps. But I prefer to think of it otherwise."

    3. " people were all different things at the same time. They were like onions under fine layers of skin; you didn't ever peel away a last layer, because the layers were what they were"So thinks a character in the short story 'The Tutor'. This in a nut shell is what 'Nell Freudenberger's debut collection 'Lucky Girls' is all about. The blurbs about the book place much emphasis on the fact that the stories are set mostly in Southeast Asia and particularly India, but the backdrop for these stories are [...]

    4. The best story in this collection is its first, "Lucky Girls," about a young white American expatriate in India deciding if she wants to stay in her adopted country after the death of her married lover, for whom she moved in the first place. The idea of defining what makes a place feel like home is personally appealing, especially as I contemplate making a drastic change of my own.But everything after "Lucky Girls" feels too similar - only one of the five stories in the collection is set at any [...]

    5. This book exemplified why I don't like short stories. They always feel they taper off into nothing-- no conclusion, no plot wrap-up. What's the point of reading them when there's such frustration in the lack of outcome?

    6. Five stories. Exotic places, mostly India. Older men, younger women. 'Lucky' obviously a little tongue-in-cheek. Several poor little rich girls. Good writing that doesn't call a lot of attention to itself. Skillful, smooth, not self-indulgent; just a hair the wrong side of bland, at times. "Lucky Girls": my favorite of the stories. Like the other most engaging ones, told in the first person. About a young American woman who used up many good years on an affair with a married Indian man, who has [...]

    7. This was an interesting read, if for no other reason than all of the buzz -- positive and negative -- around the author. I have never seen such vituperative reviews as the user reviews on for this book:amazon/Lucky-Girls-eboCurtis Sittenfeld -- author of "Prep" and "American Wife," both of which I loved -- wrote a redeeming piece on Freudenberger in Salon that is also interesting background reading:dirlon/story/books/featI finished three of the five stories in this collection and read much of t [...]

    8. These stories fell flat. Nothing ever quite rang true, though many moments came close. It was frustrating because while the writing was quite competent, the stories didn't carry the emotional weight they promised. Maybe tomorrow I'll reconsider and give this 3 stars instead of 2, but I don't imagine any of the stories really resonating for that long.

    9. I enjoyed the stories more than loved them until I came to the last one, which for me vaulted the collection to another realm. It's clear Freudenberger is a writer of both great taste and great talent; I for one won't let a book of hers hit the shelves without sooner or later arriving in my to-read pile.

    10. Gave Freudenberger another chance, but this one was worse. Her style falls flat for me, and her content is an eyeroll. Five stories about rich white women with ties to various Ivy League schools (or, when being edgy, Freudenberger throws in ~Berkeley~) who then become expats in countries that they don't understand but feel special in because people keep jumping out of the way to marvel at them on the streets because they're white but worldly. Oh, and also they go through first world love problem [...]

    11. Lucky Girls by Nell Freudenberger generated a lot of attention when it first came out and not necessarily for its merits (see all the hating reivews on ). It seems that Freudenberger was an intern at The New Yorker, which chose to run one of her stories and it also turns out that she has had somewhat of a privileged life being a young attractive woman with a degree from Harvard as well as a big advance for a book based on the short stories in her collection Lucky Girls. As for the writing, I thi [...]

    12. 3.5 stars.Put another way, I wanted to like this collection of stories more than I did, but I know I'll be tackling Freudenberger's two novels in the future.First, the good news: this woman has the creative range indicative of a very real desire to be a "global citizen," to truly listen to, and tell the stories of, a wide variety of people. The reader sees this in gorgeous descriptions of sites all over America and Asia. The author's worldliness also shows through in an understanding that any wr [...]

    13. I don’t like short stories as I always am longing for more. Short stories only provide a small glimpse into the character’s existences. They usually lack a conclusion. Regardless of my short story frustrations and biases, Nell Freudenberge is a good writer who creates solid, absorbing characters. My two favorite stories were ‘The Tutor’ and ‘The Orphan.’In ‘The Tutor’ a young American girl living with her father in India hires Zubin, a tutor. Freudenberge beautifully illustrates [...]

    14. I'm not a huge fan of short stories as I feel they leave something out or I am missing something, they rarely in my opinion give the characters enough opportunity to fully develop.There were only two stories in this collection that I can say I enjoyed, the first and last.The first was about a woman who had travelled to India to be with a man as his mistress. When he died it began to outline some of the problems this woman faced as she mourned and tried to come to terms with his death with his Mo [...]

    15. I loved the first two and last two stories - was sort of baffled by the middle one ("Outside the Eastern Gate"). From "The Orphan"p. 52 Alice thinks of the incredible frustration of not knowing things, and of knowing that they can't be known - the incredible privacy of people's experience.From "The Tutor"p. 113 Homesickness was like any other illness: you couldn't remember it properly. From "Letter From the Last Bastion"p. 176 My mother says that if you're always thinking about how things are go [...]

    16. I mean, it's not bad. I just didn't enjoy it. They weren't stories I cared about, and they format didn't enable enough time to really develop the characters enough to make me care over the course of them.

    17. I picked up Nell Freudenberger's third book, "The Newlyweds," simply because I was intrigued by the premise. I had no idea who the author was, no idea there was so much hubbub over her ten years ago when she became the It Girl other young writers loved to hate. Anyway, I loved "The Newlyweds" and eagerly bought her first book, "Lucky Girls." MAYBE I shouldn't have read all the articles about her path to publishing before I started "Lucky Girls." Maybe, just maybe, it colored my opinion. But I do [...]

    18. Unfortunately for Nell Freudenberger, I would have given this a way higher rating if it wasn't for me having just read another short story collection by Alice Munro. All the stories in here are interesting (although I'm naturally biased since they're all about expat girls and I'm an expat girl) and have good premises (for example, white girl living abroad in India has longterm affair with older Indian man; he dies and his mom and wife start getting involved in white girl's life) and are entertai [...]

    19. Gestern habe ich die letzten Seiten dieses Buches quergelesen, weil ich mich nicht länger quälen wollte. Naja, vielleicht ist quälen der falsche Ausdruck - die Autorin schreibt gut und flüssig, schöne Dialoge und Beschreibungen der Umgebung und der Menschen. Aber es sind Kurzgeschichten, und mit solchen kann ich generell nicht so viel anfangen: man hat sich gerade eingelesen, da hört die Geschichte schon wieder auf.Bei den Geschichten in diesem Buch ist mir das besonders extrem aufgefallen [...]

    20. I keep coming back to short stories because I know that there are some excellent ones out there--and Nell Freudenberger delivered! The stories in this book were well developed. The characters all took me to different places; her descriptions were outstanding. I can't believe how young the author was when she wrote these stories. I'm eager now to read her more recent works. Favorite quotes both come from the last story, "Letter from the Last Bastion," which was my favorite of the five:"I always t [...]

    21. I quite enjoyed this collection of stories; especially the first, for which the collection is named after, and the final two. It was in the final story, Letter from the Last Bastion, that I finally lost myself as a reader and forgot to take notice of what the author was attempting to do. Freudenberger's prose is beautiful and yet economical, almost to the point of leaving the reader mystified. But what can she mean really happened? I must admit that there is something in me that longs for the sa [...]

    22. okay, i admit it, i have a huge chip on my shoulder for all the mid-20's wunderkind who are already published and living the preppy artist's life in a nice dusty brownstone in brooklyn. someone recommended this and i was like oh sure, she got published in the new yorker on her first story, which, is like deciding to become and bank robber and robbin fort knox, and then got a book deal off of that one short story? that, too me, sounds like the makings of a really crap writer, because stuff like t [...]

    23. I tried, really tried, to like this book. Alas. I didn't even finish. A collection of short stories, Freudenberg takes either hybrid identities or expat Americans in southeast Asia as her subject matter, illustrating the circumstances of five girls/women.I think my problem is right now I'm looking for plot-driven stories. Freudenberg, upon first glance, looked like she was duplicating the success of Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies, which I loved. But no, Freudenberg is much more focused [...]

    24. Glad to see that the awfully incestuous publishing industry can you fool sometimes, but not all of the time This writer has been hyped to death and death itself is what this collection of mediocre, flat short stories amount to: death of the imagination, of originality and plausibility in prose. However, the writer isn't without talent and, perhaps, if she'd been given room to develop instead of taken for publicity as a 'type' and hyped to the height of skyscrapers, then maybe she'd been able to [...]

    25. cinque racconti in cui la protagonista vive una forma di sradicamento. tranne l'ultimo, sono tutti ambientati in un paese orientale in cui tutto o quasi sembra respingere e favorire lo straniamento e la dimensione del viaggio (per quanto lungo, fino a diventare residenza) si dilata in una forma di estraneità e spaesamento. ho trovato molto belli "orfani" e "fuori dalla porta d'oriente"; esordio acerbo ma interessante. [tengo molto a questo libro perché, introvabile, mi è stato regalato da un' [...]

    26. I liked several of the stories in this collection, but couldn't finish the last one. All treated interesting issues of displacement -- I particularly liked the one about a crumbling family's reunion in Thailand, another about the troubled relationship between an American girl and her erratic mother in India, and a third about the interaction between a sub-continent born but American educated tutor to a privileged American girl (Sorry, can't find my copy of the book so don't have chapter titles.) [...]

    27. I first read one of the short stories from this collection in a writing class, and didn't appreciate its skill at the time. I've since become a fan of Nell Freudenberger's short stories. I've learned to appreciate her exotic asian settings and look past what I don't understand for the universal nugget in each of them. I think my favorite is "Outside the Eastern Gate", which deals with the memories and emotions that any of us face in returning to our childhood home, and more particularly, the dif [...]

    28. This is a book of stories written by a new author. This is her first book. I would have loved to have given excellent reviews on this book but I am not a fan of stories (sorry Nell) and while this book was well written, the stories didn't keep me compelled to continue reading and this book took awhile to finish for me. I just have to stop reading books with stories to read because the only one that I have enjoyed is John Grisham's Ford County.

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