12.23 Gregory Galloway As Simple as Snow

ISBN 13: 9780147515810

As Simple as Snow

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9780147515810: As Simple as Snow

Anna—who prefers to be called Anastasia—is a spooky and complicated high school girl with a penchant for riddles, Houdini tricks, and ghost stories. She is unlike anyone the narrator has ever known, and they make an unlikely, though happy, pair. Then Anna disappears, leaving behind only a dress near a hole in the frozen river, and a string of unanswered questions. Desperate to find out what happened the narrator begins to reconstruct the past five months. And soon the fragments of curious events, intimate conversations, secrets, letters—and the anonymous messages that continue to arrive—coalesce into haunting and surprising revelations that may implicate friends, relatives, and even Anna herself.

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About the Author:

Gregory Galloway received an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. He is the author of As Simple as Snow, winner of the Alex Award, and The 39 Deaths of Adam Strand.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Good-bye to Everyone

Anna Cayne had moved here in August, just before our sophomore year in high school, but by February she had, one by one, killed everyone in town. She didn't do it all by herself--I helped with a few, including my best friend--but still, it was no small accomplishment, even if it was a small town.
  She captured all of these lives and deaths in fourteen black-jacketed composition notebooks. By the time she has finished, there were more than 1,500 obituaries, on just under 2,800 handwritten pages. The lives she wrote about were real, all true, but the deaths were fictions she invented, an average of around eight a day. "I'm not predicting the future," she said, "but it's only a matter of time before everyone catches up to me."
  She had known things about people, or had discovered them--the secrets and private information that showed up in her notebooks were things that people who had spent their entire lives in our town didn't know. The funny thing is, during the months when the bodies were piling up in the imagination of Anna Cayne, I don't think a single person actually died in town; it was the longest drought for the funeral home that anyone could remember.
  The obituaries were private; her friends and a few other people knew that Anna was working on them, but besides me, I don't believe anyone else was allowed to read them. She must have started the project on her very first day in town, the day I saw her sitting on the front lawn of her new home, writing in one of her notebooks as the rest of us stood with her parents, watching their belongings parade from thelong yellow truck into the house. And after she had written the last page almost seven months later, she was gone.
  Maybe.

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