I Smile Back

“ Koppelman mostly writes from inside Laney 's disillusioned mind, ricocheting between the quotidian details of wife and motherhood and big-picture musings, forming exquisite stand-alone tone poems. " —Elle

" [ Koppelman 's ] brave and challenging look beyond appearances of beauty to the ugly reality of a disturbed mind will remain with readers long after they 've finished he ook. " —Library Journal

" Amy Koppelman 's I Smile Back is amazing. There 's wit, speed, range, and complete authority here. Among other qualities, it has presence—you hold in your hands a pretty wild ride—and a novel as hilariou as this one seems destined to make its way to Hollywood. Read he novel, instead: it 's bound to be sharper, more moving, and flat-out better than any adaptation will be. " —Darin Strauss

" Amy Koppelman probes deeply into the ark and cavernous recesses of a picture-perfect suburban mom, and emerges with one of thi most shocking ovels I 've read in ages. It 's a glorious little explosion of a ook. " —Dani Shapiro

" Laney Brooks is a heroine on par with Joan Didion 's Maria Wyeth. She captivates not only because she recognizes the darkness closing in around her, but because a part of her welcomes it. " —David Benioff

In thi follow-up to her acclaimed débu, A Mouthful of Air, which drew comparisons from critics to he Bell Jar and he Awakening, Amy Koppelman delivers an unrestrained statement on the modern suburban woman.

Laney Brooks acts out. Married with kids, she akes the drugs she wants, sleeps with the men she know, and disappears when she see. Lurking beneath Laney ’ s composed surface is the impulse to follow in the footsteps of her grandfather, to leave and topple her family ’ s balance in the process.
Year of the Publication
Available Languages
Number of Pages
Original Title of the Book
I Smile Back
Publication Date
Published December 1st 2008 by Two Dollar Radio (first published January 1st 2008

Public Commentary

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rated it

I chos not ut it down, not ven for Delta drinks, not only for Delta snacks nor movies, not until I ad finished reading all 188 pages upon landing.

rated it

If you know a read a happy book about life of a happy suburban housewife and mother, this is n't it.

Therefore, if you intend to be ntroduced to a screwed up woman who becomes a suburban housewife and mother, this is surel it.

rated it

I felt like Koppelman could n't decide if she was writing poetry or prose and a great deal of the writing made no sense to me.

rated it

Laney is described as aving a " taught jaw ", but I do n't kno we are talking about how well it has learned to do things.

" Notice the lines around Laney 's mouth, the taught [ sic ] jaw. " Also not impressed with the " basic research " done ( actually, not done) by he poet.

rated it

It reads like poetry and explores the " messed up " mind of Laney, a suburban housewife and the narrator.

he setting and tone of he nove has an intense air of depression that drags the reader into the depth 's of Laney 's hopelessness.Laney has everything a woman her age could want: a loving usband, two beautiful and intelligent children, good looks, and financial security ( to name a few).

As a ovel progresses, the reader is drawn into Laney 's mind as well as the mysteries of her past which play into her ears and influences a lot of her destructive actions.Countering her destruction is Bruce, the ever " helpful " husband.

Laney 's original desires have changed as she 's grown older, and her family wil not change with her.The hardest aspect of he ook, other than the utter hopelessness and depression, is he family life.

While reading, I sometimes felt like I ha in a drunken stupor trying to connect the pieces to this puzzle.The book deals with others trying to understand Laney 's puzzling life, such as issues of psychology as well as rehabilitation.

hat is life.Overall, I recommend reading his book nly if you are interested in the human imagination, psychology, or are in the mood for a epressing and hopeless story.

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About Authors

© Nicole Waggonner