Shannon is 30 and single. When her relationship falters, she moves home to save money. Once home, she is reluctantly drawn into the sometimes infuriating realm of her mother. Life for Shannon takes on the complexities of Flo's life, as mother and daughter struggle to redefine their own boundaries.
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In Welcome to My Planet, the fictional Shannon Olson--who shares her creator's name--is witty but confused, whip-smart but unable to fully release her ties to bad boyfriends, childhood obsessions, and the "gassy expanse" of marginal jobs. With the help of a therapist known only as the counselor, this almost 30-year-old Midwestern neurotic gamely tries to steer her way past credit-card-fueled Target binges and a too close relationship with her mother, Flo, and to slowly inch toward the elusive land of adulthood. Comparisons to the charming neurotics found in Bridget Jones's Diary and The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing are inevitable, but beside the point: Shannon is less brittle, less self-consciously hip than those postmodern heroines. Contemplating living on her own again after a stint with her parents, she whines to the counselor, "I've never really lived anywhere else. What if I never find anyone? I may as well go out and adopt a bunch of cats and start wearing macramé ponchos."
Olson's debut easily pulls us in with a conversational, seemingly unadorned style that camouflages her well-crafted narrative technique as she moves back and forth in time. With her retro and up-to-the-minute pop-culture references to The Love Boat, grieving conferences, Prozac, Oprah, bachelorette parties, and the ravages of graduate school (where Babe the Gallant Pig is a "text"), the author clearly knows her target audience. Welcome to My Planet is an almost perfect coming-of-age story for an era in which public life, jazzed by lightning technological and commercial changes, leapfrogs away while emotional adolescence strangely extends into our 30s. --Maura Alia BramkampAbout the Author:
Shannon Olson, author of Welcome to My Planet, has taught creative writing and literature at the University of Minnesota.
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Book Description Penguin Books, 2001. Book Condition: New. New Ed. Ships from the UK. BRAND NEW. Bookseller Inventory # GRP70607412
Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Brand new books and maps available immediately from a reputable and well rated UK bookseller - not sent from the USA; despatched promptly and reliably worldwide by Royal Mail; Bookseller Inventory # mon0000229832