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The Wrong Dog Dream

A True Romance

List Price: $15.95

April 15, 2014 | Paperback | 6 x 9, 384 Pages | ISBN 9781619023178
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"Like everything Vandenburgh writes, The Wrong Dog Dream is profound, brilliant, honest, painful, gorgeous, precise and wild, funny and real... This book is about devastation, hope and victory, and it is beautifully written." —Anne Lamott, author of Bird by Bird

The author calls this “a true romance,” saying, it’s the part of her personal history she, being superstitious, was almost afraid to write. She’d grown up accustomed to bad luck, but had — by accident or miracle — survived her own circumstances: being orphaned, her own misspent youth, the chaos of a broken marriage. She’d more than survived, she’d even triumphed and had awakened into a kind of charmed splendor to find herself living in a white marble city with storybook castles, knowing famous people, being invited to the White House to listen to her husband discuss Yeats with the President of the United States, as Bill Clinton drinks Diet Coke from the can.

And into this fabled chapter of the writer’s life comes the perfect dog, an English Springer Spaniel named Whistler who arrives not only the family pet, but as her private symbol of triumph over all that age-old sadness. She wants to ignore it but can’t help but see that their perfect pup is something of a neurotic mess, snarling at manhole covers, barking at children, growling at people in wheelchairs.

The writer herself is not seemingly done with the anxieties born of all that early trauma and loss, and she begins to worry obsessively about losing this difficult dog, the one they so love. Wrrrrnnnggdgggg! she begins to dream. Wrrrrrnnnnng dgggg!

JANE VANDENBURGH is the award-winning author of two novels, Failure to Zigzag and The Physics of Sunset, as well as Architecture of the NovelA Writer’s Handbook, and The Pocket History of Sex in the Twentieth Century: A Memoir. She has taught writing and literature at U.C. Davis, George Washington University, and, most recently, at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, California. A native of Berkeley, she has returned to live with her family in the West, and with Wayne Thiebaud, her new dog. For more information, visit www.janevandenburgh.com.

Praise

“Like everything Vandenburgh writes, The Wrong Dog Dream is profound, brilliant, honest, painful, gorgeous, precise and wild, funny and real. She only writes about what matters most: love, family, art, and survival. You don’t have to love dogs to enjoy this book, because it is about Life, which is to say, joy, loss, chaos, love, death—and then those things all over again. It’s about her marriage, children, and grandchildren, and their pets; her childhood in a deeply crazy environment, and its pets, her life as an acclaimed artist, her loneliness, salvation in marriage, and pets. This book is about devastation, hope and victory, and it is beautifully written.” —Anne Lamott, author of Bird by Bird

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