Monday, April 23, 2012

HEFT: A REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY


 GIVEAWAY ENDED 
HEFT
BY LIZ MOORE

ABOUT THE BOOK:
Former academic Arthur Opp weighs 550 pounds and hasn’t left his rambling Brooklyn home in a decade. Twenty miles away, in Yonkers, seventeen-year-old Kel Keller navigates life as the poor kid in a rich school and pins his hopes on what seems like a promising baseball career–if he can untangle himself from his family drama. The link between this unlikely pair is Kel’s mother, Charlene, a former student of Arthur’s. After nearly two decades of silence, it is Charlene’s unexpected phone call to Arthur–a plea for help–that jostles them into action. Through Arthur and Kel’s own quirky and lovable voices, Heft tells the winning story of two improbable heroes whose sudden connection transforms both their lives. Like Elizabeth McCracken’s The Giant’s House, Heft is a novel about love and family found in the most unexpected places.

PRAISE FOR HEFT:
"Recommended reading: HEFT by Liz Moore. Quirky, heartbreaking. Loved it."
Jennifer Weiner (on Twitter)

"Liz Moore's second novel captures an intricate helix of American voices…A suspenseful, restorative novel from one of our fine young voices."
Colum McCann

"This is the real deal, Liz Moore is the real deal—she's written a novel that will stick with you long after you've finished it. A beautiful book."
Russell Banks

“HEFT is a work that radiantly combines compassion and a clear eyed vision. This is a novel of rare originality and sophistication.”
Mary Gordon

"In Heft, Liz Moore creates a cast of vulnerable, lonely misfits that will break your heart and then make it soar. What a terrific novel!”
--Ann Hood

“Moore taps the fascinating psyche of the morbidly obese in her second novel . . . an insightful page-turner.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Moore’s lovely novel (after The Words of Every Song) is about overcoming shame and loneliness and learning to connect. It is life-affirming but never sappy.”
—Library Journal

"HEFT is both a lyrically written tale and an engrossing page-turner.  In Arthur Opp, author Liz Moore gives us a complete, three-dimensional person rather than the media's stereotypical obese recluse... this tender tale is ultimately hopeful and unforgettable."
—Bookreporter.com

"Endearing... surprising."
—Booklist, starred review

"This is a beautiful novel about relationships of the most makeshift kind, about bonds that go beyond the biological.  It's also about how, sometimes, even the deepest wounds can be healed by the simplest, smallest acts of kindness."
O, The Oprah Magazine

“Yet few novelists of recent memory have put our bleak isolation into words as clearly as Liz Moore does in her new novel, "Heft."… The novel progresses at a comfortable pace, thanks to Moore's graceful prose. There are no bad metaphors to wince at in this book. In fact, Moore scarcely allows herself any showy literary tricks, which, these days, is a trick itself. …By the end we are in love with the characters and just want to see them happy.” 
—San Francisco Chronicle

This is not a novel with a happy ending, and that's a good thing. Moore doesn't tie her story up in a pretty package and hand it to the reader with care, but artfully acknowledges in the end that some heavy loads cannot easily be left behind.
 

—Minneapolis Star-Tribune

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Liz Moore is a writer, musician, and teacher.

She wrote most of her first novel, The Words of Every Song (Broadway Books, 2007), while in college. The book, which centers on a fictional record company in present-day New York City, draws partly on Liz’s own experiences as a musician. It was selected for Borders’ Original Voices program, received 3.5/4 stars in PEOPLE Magazine, and was given a starred review by Kirkus. Roddy Doyle wrote of it, “This is a remarkable novel, elegant, wise, and beautifully constructed. I loved the book.”

After the publication of her debut novel, Liz released an album, Backyards, and obtained her MFA in Fiction from Hunter College, where she studied with Peter Carey, Colum McCann, and Nathan Englander. After being awarded the University of Pennsylvania’s ArtsEdge residency, she moved to Philadelphia in the summer of 2009. She has taught Creative Writing at Hunter College and the University of Pennsylvania. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Writing at Holy Family University in Philadelphia, where she lives.
Her second novel, Heft, was published by W.W. Norton in January 2012.

MY THOUGHTS/REVIEW:
The first thing you must know about me is that I am colossally fat.“ These words are from a letter written by Arthur Opp who is morbidly obese as the medical world would define him. And so begins Liz Moore’s exquisitely written novel, HEFT. Moore has given readers Arthur Opp in a beautiful character study that opens up his world which most have never really understood. However, there is so much more to Arthur than just his weight.

Readers also meet the other main character and that is young “Kel” Keller who also feels like he doesn’t deserve a good life. As a 17-year-old who was abandoned by his father at an early age just like Arthur, Kel battles his own insecurities. He attends a ritzy high school but comes from a poor neighborhood so never feels like he fits in. When Kel loses his mother, his life begins to crumble and how he gets back on course comes about because of Arthur Opp. How the lives of these two characters come together is written so well by Liz Moore that you can’t possibly not be taken in by their shared sensibilities.

Arthur Opp at one time was a college professor who comes to befriend a former student, Charlene. After a brief relationship, they part ways but continue to be important to each other for years through letters Charlene writes to Arthur and that he treasures as much as she does. As time goes by and Arthur becomes more reclusive, never leaving his home, Charlene also goes through changes. She gives birth to young Kel, who Arthur doesn’t know about until years later, but she also is smart enough to find a way to eventually be sure the two most important people in her life get to know each other.  

Liz Moore writes Arthur so well that you can’t help but feel for him as he becomes more and more withdrawn. When he hires a housekeeper, Yolanda, he is unaware of the changes she will bring to his life. Not only is Yolanda good for Arthur, but in turn, he becomes an important part of her life as Arthur slowly starts to see that he does have something to offer to others. Kel, having learned to cope for himself for so long, comes to realize that his mother did leave him a gift by finally putting him in touch with Arthur. We see Kel struggle to battle his problems of being alone, and as he adapts, realizes it is fine to have relationships with others and not always get hurt.

HEFT is a book that will make you think as well as entertain you. Arthur is quite an endearing character and some of his foibles do bring a smile to your face. As you root for Arthur and Kel, you realize that real life isn’t like a fairy tale and perhaps the ending is not what some may have expected, or wanted, but it is one that certainly leaves you thinking and open to much discussion.
 
GIVEAWAY

THANKS TO FRANCESCA AND THE GOOD FOLKS
AT W.W. NORTON & CO., I HAVE ONE COPY
OF THIS FASCINATING NOVEL TO GIVE AWAY
 
--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
 

COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!


HOW TO ENTER:


+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON WHAT YOU READ ABOVE ABOUT HEFT THAT MADE YOU WANT TO WIN THIS BOOK... DON'T FORGET YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS 

+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG AND/OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND COME BACK HERE AND LEAVE ME YOUR LINK

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FIND INTERESTING ON LIZ MOORE'S WEBSITE HERE

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON A CURRENT GIVEAWAY THAT YOU HAVE ENTERED ON MY BLOG. IF YOU ENTERED MORE THAN ONE, YOU MAY COMMENT SEPARATELY FOR EACH TO RECEIVE MORE ENTRIES
 
GIVEAWAY ENDS AT
6 PM, EST, MAY 4
GOOD LUCK!

165 comments:

debbie said...

I think this sounds like a very unique story. Authors tend to shy away from characters that are truely overweight. I would love to read this book, and find out what happens with the two of them.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

debbie said...

I entered bloom.
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debbie said...

I entered the italian diet.
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debbie said...

I entered the scarlet pepper.
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debbie said...

I entered gossip.
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debbie said...

I entered come home.
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Karen B said...

"...in the end that some heavy loads cannot easily be left behind.
—Minneapolis Star-Tribune"
How true that is!
kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

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Karen B said...

Entered THE COWBOY TAKES A BRIDE.
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Karen B said...

Entered HOUNDS ABOUND.
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techeditor said...

On the author's Web site I see that she has not posted any book signing event in Michigan.

Pamela Keener said...

Heft has been on my wish list and here it is. Thanks for the review and giveaway.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

Pamela Keener said...

I entered Gossip
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Pam
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Pamela Keener said...

I entered Come Home
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Pam
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Pamela Keener said...

FB 1
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Tore said...

I would love to read this book. It sounds very good. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

lag123 said...

I love books about relationships that go beyond the biological bond.

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lag123 said...

Tweeted: https://twitter.com/#!/lag32583/status/194444995481182209

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lag123 said...

I learned that Liz's first book is interconnected short stories about players in New York City’s music industry.

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lag123 said...

I entered the BLOOM GIVEAWAY

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I entered the THE COWBOY TAKES A BRIDE GIVEAWAY

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Colleen Turner said...

I have heard such good things about this book! I like the idea of two individuals, both of which seem very different, being able to help each other concur their own issues. Thanks for the chance to win a copy!
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

I also entered the Gossip giveaway.
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Colleen Turner said...

I found out from the author's website that she has also released an album called Backyards.
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traveler said...

An interesting book. Many thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered Bloom. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered The Italian Diet. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered toddler classics. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered Gossip. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered The Scarlet Pepper. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

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traveler said...

A multi-talented author. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

petite said...

A unique book. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

Entered Bloom. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

Entered The Italian Diet. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

Entered Gossip. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

Entered The Scarlet Pepper. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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Entered Hounds Abound. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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Entered Heroes for My Daughter. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

Entered Toddler Classics. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

Her first book sounds fascinating. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

I am very glad that the book gets the story out about the morbidly obese. More people need to be aware of this problem. It is my feeling that people with this problem are very depressed and need treatment before any weight loss problem is tried.

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

I tweeted:
http://t.co/RHatvH1c

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

I am not very familiar with the music industry so I read about her other book which also has received a lot of praise from the critics:
"The WOrds Of Every Song"

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

I entered the giveaway for
"Bloom".


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Carol N Wong said...

I entered the giveaway for "The Italian Diet".


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Carol N Wong said...

I entered the giveaway for "The Scarlet Pepper".


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Carol N Wong said...

I entered the giveaway for "The Scarlet Pepper".


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Carol N Wong said...

I entered the giveaway for
"Heroes for My Daughter".

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I entered the giveaway for "Come Home (Audio).


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Carol N Wong said...

I entered the giveaway for "Hounds Abound".


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Margie said...

Sounds like two very interesting main characters in this one. Thanks for the giveaway.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

The author is currently an Assistant Professor of Writing at Holy Family University in Philadelphia, where she lives.
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Margie said...

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Margie said...

entered Come Home
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Margie said...

entered Hounds Abound
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Margie said...

entered Italian Diet
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rubynreba said...

I'd like to see how they help each other.
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rubynreba said...

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rubynreba said...

Entered Bloom
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Entered Bloom
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Entered Toddler Literature Set
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Entered Capitol Murder
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Entered Heroes for My Daughter
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Entered Piece of My Heart
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Karen B said...

Entered DREAD ON ARRIVAL.
kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

gail said...

sounds like a great character, 550 pounds of him!
gkuroda(at)gmail.com

gail said...

entered heroes for my daughter
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gail said...

entered gossip
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gail said...

entered come home
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gail said...

entered cowboy takes a bride
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Anonymous said...

entered hounds abound
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gail said...

entered another piece of my heart
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gail said...

entered dread on arrival
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gail said...

entered the thirteen
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Jolee said...

The characters sound very interesting! joleehamlin [at] comcast [dot] net

Jolee said...

Learned about her interesting academic career from her website. joleehamlin [at] comcast [dot] net

Jolee said...

entered heroes for my daughter joleehamlin [at] comcast [dot] net

Jolee said...

entered gossip joleehamlin [at] comcast [dot] net

Jolee said...

entered come home joleehamlin [at] comcast [dot] net

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entered piece of my heart joleehamlin [at] comcast [dot] net

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entered lifeboar joleehamlin [at] comcast [dot] net

Linda Kish said...

These characters make me want to root for them. I want to find out what happens to them.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

Liz is also a musician and a teacher. After she published her first book, she released and album and obtained an MFA in fiction.

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Linda Kish said...

+5 April facebook
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Linda Kish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda Kish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda Kish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy said...

The summary of Heft and your review have me already feeling for Arthur. You commented that he's an endearing character and I'm interested in his story and want to read it. I also like that this book is about real life not as a fairytale or dream but what it truly is, the good, bad and ugly.

Aimala127(at)gmail(dot)com

Amy said...

I found the 'Other Writing and Media" section on Liz Moore's website intertesting. It includes essays, short stories and interviews of other authors. I like being able to read some of Liz's writing even though I don't yet have any of her books.

Aimala127(at)gmail(dot)com

Amy said...

I entered your giveaway for "Gossip".

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Amy said...

+5 April Facebook Bonus Entry (1)

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Amy said...

I entered the giveaway for The Lifeboat

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Karen B said...

Entered PUMPED FOR MURDER.
kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

mamabunny13 said...

I like the premise of this book.
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mamabunny13 said...

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Karen B said...

Entered ANGEL OF THE DARK.
kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

Karen B said...

Entered THE GOOD FATHER.
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