Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple is now available in paperback.

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Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (Little, Brown and Company; 336 pages; $25.99)


Reading Maria Semple’s wickedly hilarious novel Where’d You Go, Bernadette, I couldn’t help but wonder is this the end of the traditional narrative?  Semple uses only emails, letters, journal articles, memos, receipts, TED talks, emergency room bills, FBI correspondence, and press releases to tell the bold story of a Seattle wife and mother, Bernadette, who disappears.  The ways in which Semple ties all these unusual forms together makes for highly entertaining and surprisingly compelling reading.  Semple does not need conventional narrative at all in Where’d You 

The hilarity begins when Bernadette’s daughter, Bee, an eighth-grader, receives her report card from the Galer Street School, “a place where compassion, academics, and global connectitude join together to create civic-minded citizens of a sustainable and diverse planet.”  The school wants to build the self-esteems of its over-privileged…

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