Mislaid

Mislaid Stillwater College in Virginia Freshman Peggy an ing nue with literary pretensions falls under the spell of Lee a blue blooded poet and professor and they begin an ill advised affair that re

  • Title: Mislaid
  • Author: Nell Zink
  • ISBN: 9780062364791
  • Page: 202
  • Format: ebook
  • Stillwater College in Virginia, 1966 Freshman Peggy, an ing nue with literary pretensions, falls under the spell of Lee, a blue blooded poet and professor, and they begin an ill advised affair that results in an unplanned pregnancy and marriage The couple are mismatched from the start she s a lesbian, he s gay but it takes a decade of emotional erosion before Peggy runsStillwater College in Virginia, 1966 Freshman Peggy, an ing nue with literary pretensions, falls under the spell of Lee, a blue blooded poet and professor, and they begin an ill advised affair that results in an unplanned pregnancy and marriage The couple are mismatched from the start she s a lesbian, he s gay but it takes a decade of emotional erosion before Peggy runs off with their three year old daughter, leaving their nine year old son behind.Worried that Lee will have her committed for her erratic behavior, Peggy goes underground, adopting an African American persona for her and her daughter They squat in a house in an African American settlement, eventually moving to a housing project where no one questions their true racial identities As Peggy and Lee s children grow up, they must contend with diverse emotional issues Byrdie must deal with his father s compulsive honesty while Karen struggles with her mother s lies she knows neither her real age, nor that she is white, nor that she has any other family Years later, a minority scholarship lands Karen at the University of Virginia, where Byrdie is in his senior year Eventually the long lost siblings will meet, setting off a series of misunderstandings and culminating in a comedic finale worthy of Shakespeare.

    One thought on “Mislaid”

    1. I really enjoyed the writing in this book and the plot line was interesting but I think that Zink really lost out by transitioning to the future where Karen and Temple end up at university and she just so happens to run into Byrdie. I was enjoying the book when it was just about Peggy trying to figure out herself and how she fit into a society where she didn't feel comfortable on the expectations put on her as a female. I also liked the way sexuality was represented fluidly. I just couldn't get [...]

    2. This novel is so smart, almost too smart for it's own good. There are times when it is clear the writer is simply enamored with her wit, to hell with anything else. But oh this is a damn fine read. So much to chew on. True absurdist comedy. The race stuff is a bit off kilter but not distressingly so. Really liked this book.

    3. Nell Zink has been the recipient of an extraordinary amount of media hype recently, some of it quite fawning. From the reviews, opening her second novel, Mislaid, you would expect something eccentrically brilliant, witty, challenging, subversive. I didn’t feel it lived up to those expectations at all. The quirkiness is all pretty contrived and superficial, and beneath the surface hipnicity (I borrowed that term from the Washington Post review), it’s actually rather soft-centered and arch and [...]

    4. “Mislaid,” indeed. The title of Nell Zink’s new novel is just the first wry, indecorous joke in this zany-brainy story about a teenage lesbian who sleeps with a gay man. Zink writes with such faux innocence that her subversive cracks about sexuality and race detonate only after she has riffed off to the next unlikely incident. If you’re easily offended or confused, mislay this book and go back to “All the Light We Cannot See.”Few fiction writers break out in their 50s, but Zink, who [...]

    5. After I finished Mislaid by Nell Zink, I read nearly every review I could find trying to discern why this novel was being lauded when I couldn’t figure it out myself. Read more.

    6. I had been meaning to read Nell Zink for a while but when this novel was longlisted for the National Book Award, I moved her up in my list. She didn't make the shortlist but I still wanted to read it.I should also say that I read this book despite the Jonathan Franzen endorsement quote on the cover. Carry on.The novel starts out at a small women's college in rural Virginia in the 1960s. Peggy, a young woman who has always been drawn to the masculine side of her own sexuality, ends up having an a [...]

    7. If you told me this author has literally never interacted with an actual human being in her entire life, I would believe you.

    8. Much was made of the fact that Franzen recommended Zink and her books to the world, but I’m glad I read 'Mislaid' regardless. You must know they are nothing alike and Franzen could sit and think for 20 years and he wouldn’t come up with anything nowhere near this zany and inventive. I heard that they just bonded over birds.I suppose you can say ‘Mislaid’ is an attempt at ‘The Great American novel’. All that will damn you in America is there: race, gender, and poverty. It explains eve [...]

    9. (Jan) It's rare I give a book 1*. While I love to read, I don't have any pretensions that I could sit down and write a book. Usually I give the author credit for putting pen to paper and making a story come out, even if I don't like it. This one, howeverwell, you ever read a book and finish it and think to yourself "WTF did I just read?!!" I honestly don't understand how this got published. When I think of how many struggling authors send in manuscripts to publishing houses hoping to rise above [...]

    10. Half of a good book, I think. I enjoyed the early going but then I have a soft spot for campus novels so I was a bit nonplussed when it switched gears a few chapters in, launching into a shambling commentary of race, sexuality, and America's modern coming of age. But for all the hi-jinks, it started to get pretty rote, at least for me, who needs either lyrical language or compelling characters to get invested and Mislaid comes up short in both respects. I think Zink has a masterpiece in her even [...]

    11. I'd rate this 2.5 stars.Hmm. This book was definitely intriguing.Peggy Jackson grew up in Virginia in the 1960s, a girl of some means raised by parents with more of an eye on social niceties and appropriateness than actual parenting, especially when she realizes she is a lesbian. She convinces them to send her to Stillwater College, a small, all-girls school, where she can pursue her dreams of literary success, and perhaps find a girlfriend. They are none too happy to send her away.But it isn't [...]

    12. Bailed only a couple chapters in. Much too snarky for my taste, or at least this month. Not even Laurence Bouvard - the narrator who made The Portable Veblen come so alive - could redeem this one in my ears.

    13. Hm. Okay. WellIf Faulkner wrote an unfinished manuscript based on a lost, unfinished comedy of Shakespeare, then Jonathan Franzen discovered this twice-lost Shakespearian/Faulknerian draft, cleaned it up a bit, and made notes toward a screenplay adaptation that John Waters finally completed and directed - then the end result might look something like this book. It is a kind of snappy Southern dysfunctional family madcap farce that plays around with sexuality, race, and class and is rife with twe [...]

    14. I won this in a First Reads giveaway! with thanks to Harper Collins Australia and .This was not even remotely what I was expecting; all the reviews of The Wallcreeper led me to believe that Zink's style must be completely inaccessible and uncompromising and not one bit fun at all. But I laughed out loud a few times during this. Oh no! I have to interrupt myself here because while thinking about Zink's style I suddenly flashed onto A Confederacy of Dunces which I read about twelve years ago and d [...]

    15. As a writer Nell Zink is equivalent to a mother who slips vegetables into her kids desserts. She gives a lot of sweet of fluffy goodness with a strong heap of what's good for us (intellectual puzzles and social commentary). Mislaid is a comedy of errors that much resembles Elizabethan theater as well the theater of the absurd.Written as what the author calls "agent bait," Zink's premise for this novel is simple and strange: lesbian woman marries gay poet from the South. She tires of his repeated [...]

    16. I wish I could come up with an accurate string of letters to form a giggle, because the subversive nature of this book makes me do just that- giggle! Laugh outright in parts. So freaking clever while shooting a tall, proud middle finger to the southern sensibilities it shines a glaring light on. (I am a left-coaster, and one of those so called liberal elites[does that label mean I am liberal and intelligent?, If yes I'll take it!!], but I am southern born to southern parents and I related to a l [...]

    17. I was misled by a glowing NYTimes review into reading this. The story is a mess and as it unravels, the prose gets more cliched and lazy. The portrayal of race and poverty is superficial.

    18. Nell Zink! Please write more! I loved this book. As others have said, it's very smart. Weird, but smart. Zink hints at all sort of Southern taboos and secrets in this short novel, but her masterful blending of the idiosyncrasies of the worlds of both the tony and peckerwood South--how charming that various characters opine that rabbit fur coats hardly connote wealth and that "If you left white people alone, they would put crawfish in a blender" in the same novel!--perhaps suggests a mixed econom [...]

    19. Zink's The Wallcreeper was one of the best novels I read this year, which is a lot to live up to and not something 'Mislaid' can equal. It is a funny and original piece of writing, but doesn't sustain the same brilliant tautness and balance of sincerity and irony. The story is of a troubled, divided family in 1960s and 70s America and includes some wonderful set pieces, mainly involving drugs. From the courtroom denouement onwards, though, the narrative seemed more like a play and thus didn't wo [...]

    20. The ascendancy of Donald Trump has resulted in many outsiders peering more intently than ever at the socio-political framework of America, looking for cracks and knotholes. In this regard, Nell Zink’s second novel seems almost prescient. Of course, written and published well before Trump, Mislaid is nevertheless aimed like a lance at the boil of gender/race/class discrimination festering in the American body politic.The plot reads like a soap opera: lesbian student falls for gay poetry lecture [...]

    21. I loved this madcap novel. It was funny and free. The plot is simple: a young lesbian and a gay professor fall for each other, marry, and have a son and daughter. The idyll goes downhill. She faces the drudgery of an unloved housewife without a creative outlet while he traipses around with his gay poet friends. So she takes off with Mireille, the girl, and the son, Byrdie, stays with his father. The mother and her blonde daughter are soon passing as black as a way to lie low in rural Virginia. A [...]

    22. Set in 1966, at the campus of Stillwater College, Mislaid tells the story of Peggy. A freshman with literary aspirations, Peggy finds herself falling for Lee, a poet and one of her professors. Peggy falls pregnant and the two end up married. The only problem is, Peggy identifies herself as a lesbian and Lee as gay. This turns into some wry joke; they are an odd couple that has been mislaid.Nell Zink takes it upon herself to explore the complex issue of sexuality with a mismatched pair stuck in a [...]

    23. Like a cross between Jonathan Franzen and Jane Bowles that I never knew I needed! And on the subject of things I never knew I needed, I loved the shit out of this being set in Virginia. So few books are set in Virginia, or this Virginia (or maybe they exist but I don't read them) and it gave me a warm surprise feeling, especially with the gayness also. Not really sure about some of the race parts, but trying to address racism maybe imperfectly seems better than taking the safe systemic-racism-re [...]

    24. A bizarre and sometimes hilarious novel that defies description. The writing is witty and sharp and the characters pop off the page, but the experience of reading it is a little baffling - there are points about race, sexuality and class being got at, but I think some slipped past me in all the zaniness.

    25. Bij momenten heel grappig verhaal over een lesbienne en een homo die trouwen en kinderen krijgen.Maar de relatie loopt niet zoals gepland.Zij vlucht met hun dochter en neemt een nieuwe identiteit aan. Hij blijft achter met de zoon.Eind goed, al goed blijkt ook hier weer een relatief begrip te zijn.

    26. In Mislaid, Nell Zink tells a story full of zany energy and cerebral delights, structured as an old-fashioned novel about gender, sexual preference and race in America from the 1960s through the late 1980s. Peggy Villaincourt, a lesbian woman born in 1948 who arrives at Stillwater College and starts an affair with Lee, a blue-blooded gay poetry professor. When Peggy becomes pregnant with a son, Byrd, she drops out of college and marries Lee; the marriage proves to be an unhappy one, though the i [...]

    27. [3.5, but rounded up]Mislaid is a complicated novel, but I was so delighted to see that it had more of a structured narrative than The Wallcreeper did. I don't even know how to describe it. A gay professor and a lesbian student bone a lot, get married, have two kids, then the wife runs away, taking her little girl with her. To hide from her husband, Peggy/Meg and her daughter take up the identities of two deceased African Americans and live in poverty passing as black despite being very white. S [...]

    28. All kinds of delightful and risk-taking, and what a fun surprise (for me) that it takes place in rural Virginia, and later Charlottesville. (I am from central Virginia and went to UVA.) This is very much about Southern whiteness, and it is refreshing to see a white author dig into race and racism from an explicitly white point of view. Zink's white queer woman protagonist strategically appropriates Blackness as cover for herself and her daughter, and boy did my eyebrows raise at that, but I thin [...]

    29. I kept waiting for the story to start. Everything felt like the set up to some future point where everything would settle down and everyone would start living. Like a very detailed outline for a story, not quite a novel. The gist: A young lesbian attends a college known for being lesbian bait and while there falls for a gay male poetry prof. They become pregnant, twice, before she she tries to sink his car to deliver a message about her feelings toward his infidelities. He threatens to commit he [...]

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