Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fresh Ink: Spotlight on Debut Books of All Kinds 

What do you do when you can't function? After rookie EMT Piper Gallagher responds to a call outside a Los Angeles shopping mall for a man who can only tell her, "I can't function," the question begins to haunt her. How will Piper continue to function despite the horror she sees working in South Central, and despite her own fractured past? And how will the woman Piper loves continue to function as she experiences the aftershocks of her time spent serving in Iraq?

Piper's experiences as a rookie break her down and open her up as her genuine urge to help patients confronts the daily realities of life in the back of an ambulance and a hospital's hallways. This vivid and visceral debut is a rich study in trauma--in its causes and effects, in its methods and disguises, in its power and its pull.

Praise for the book:
"You can't decide whether you want to slap or hug Piper, but the pleasures of getting to know her are undeniable. You root for her in the hopes that the world is generous and that even the flawed will know love. A big-hearted novel that will make you vow to love, however imperfectly, that much harder." ~Alice Wu, screenwriter/director of "Saving Face"

"In Case of Emergency is here for you. To startle you into awareness. To remind you once again of the visceral urgency of desire, the urgency of fear, of loss, and of the fear of loss. To teach you about the eerie structures that undergird all that desire and fear and loss: organs and city streets, nerves and neighborhood maps, bones and veins and arteries. The patterns we use to make meaning from chaos. Also: the mysterious allure of risk, fear, and disaster. The calamitous pleasures of a thumping heart. You’ll love this book." ~Stephen Beachy, author of boneyard

"In this confident, well-paced debut novel... Moreno deftly weaves the themes of medicine and family together, probing the extent to which science can and can’t help us care for one another." ~Publishers Weekly

"In this emotionally moving, well-written, engaging novel, Moreno strikes a profound balance between the clinical logic of trauma and the personal irrationality of a young woman dealing with her demons." ~Kirkus

"Reminiscent of Leslie Jamison's essay on medical acting in her collection The Empathy Exams, Courtney Moreno's book uses the coping mechanisms she learned while working as an EMT to color her narrator's painful past. Moreno confronts both physical and psychological trauma, expertly blurring the lines between the two." ~Huffington Post

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