View Gallery


A Girl In Parts

A Novel

List Price: $14.95

June 30, 2003 | Paperback | 5.4 x 8, 248 Pages | ISBN 9781582432854
Order Now From Indiebound

"Paul's sure grasp of her narrator's voice and keen observations make both the ordinary and unusual aspects of one childhood shine." —Publishers Weekly

A first novel of adolescence that introduces a voice so fresh, so original, so pitch-perfect it seems destined to become a classic in the literature of coming of age. In the early 1980s in Martinsburg, West Virginia, Dorothy lives with her bartending mother, her bar-attending stepfather, and her sweetly precocious little brother. Dottie is nine, plagued by insomnia, asthma, earaches, and bad teeth. She is lonely and insecure, but her intelligence and keen perception enable her to see every vivid detail of her impoverished rural surroundings and the strange characters around her. When her family moves to eastern Washington State, Dottie—confused, petulant, feeling more alone than ever, and furious at her changing body—battles her way through junior high, where she finds some success and recognition in sports and academics. Her hard-won victories are tempered by her troubled family and friends and she finds solace and distraction in alcohol, cigarettes, and acting out. Dottie—nicknamed Utah by her teammates from the Colville Indian Reservation—becomes a star basketball player, falls in and out of love, and confronts a new, devastating emotional setback. But Dottie is indomitable: She emerges triumphant, as a young woman with unlimited confidence and limitless dreams in an uncertain world. Gritty and realistic, A Girl In Parts is never sentimental about either poverty or childhood. Dorothy is a tough and winning character, a true-to-life heroine for the twenty-first century. First-time novelist Jasmine Paul has crafted an elegant story in ninety-seven perfectly told vignettes.

JASMINE PAUL lives in Oregon with Dan, Floyd & Mini.


“This quiet gem of a debut novel projects sincerity through its tightly focused vignettes and unsentimental depiction of a challenging though in many ways ordinary five years in the life of one girl… Paul’s sure grasp of her narrator’s voice and keen observations make both the ordinary and unusual aspects of one childhood shine.” —Publishers Weekly

“Paul captures the pain and confusion of adolescence, the struggles of poverty, the psychological impact of abuse, and the small rebellions that make “coming of age” a true passage to a new state. Her prose is realistic, her vignettes illustrative.” —Library Journal

Related Products