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Problems / Jade Sharma.

By: Sharma, Jade [author.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Minneapolis, MN : Coffee House Press, 2016Copyright date: ©2016Description: 180 pages ; 21 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781566894425.Subject(s): Heroin abuse -- Fiction | Drug addicts -- Fiction | Women -- Drug use -- Fiction | Man-woman relationships -- FictionGenre/Form: Domestic fiction. | Black humor (Literature) | Humorous fiction. | Erotic fiction.DDC classification: 813/.6 Summary: "Dark, raw, and very funny, [this book] introduces us to Maya, a young woman with a smart mouth, time to kill, and a heroin hobby that isn't much fun anymore. Maya's been able to get by in New York on her wits and a dead-end bookstore job for years, but when her husband leaves her and her favorite professor ends their affair, her barely-calibrated life descends into chaos, and she has to make some choices. Maya's struggle to be alone, to be a woman, and to be thoughtful and imperfect and alive in a world that doesn't really care what happens to her is rendered with dead-eyed clarity and unnerving charm. This book takes every tired trope about addiction and recovery, "likeable" characters, and redemption narratives, and blows them to pieces"--Amazon.com.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Dark, raw, and very funny, Problems introduces us to Maya, a young woman with a smart mouth, time to kill, and a heroin hobby that isn't much fun anymore. Maya's been able to get by in New York on her wits and a dead-end bookstore job for years, but when her husband leaves her and her favorite professor ends their affair, her barely-calibrated life descends into chaos, and she has to make some choices. Maya's struggle to be alone, to be a woman, and to be thoughtful and imperfect and alive in a world that doesn't really care what happens to her is rendered with dead-eyed clarity and unnerving charm. This book takes every tired trope about addiction and recovery, "likeable" characters, and redemption narratives, and blows them to pieces.

Emily Books is a publishing project and ebook subscription service whose focus is on transgressive writers of the past, present and future, with an emphasis on the writing of women, trans and queer people, writing that blurs genre distinctions and is funny, challenging, and provocative.

Jade Sharma is a writer living in New York. She has an MFA from the New School.

"An Emily Books original."

"Dark, raw, and very funny, [this book] introduces us to Maya, a young woman with a smart mouth, time to kill, and a heroin hobby that isn't much fun anymore. Maya's been able to get by in New York on her wits and a dead-end bookstore job for years, but when her husband leaves her and her favorite professor ends their affair, her barely-calibrated life descends into chaos, and she has to make some choices. Maya's struggle to be alone, to be a woman, and to be thoughtful and imperfect and alive in a world that doesn't really care what happens to her is rendered with dead-eyed clarity and unnerving charm. This book takes every tired trope about addiction and recovery, "likeable" characters, and redemption narratives, and blows them to pieces"--Amazon.com.

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Reviews provided by Syndetics

Publishers Weekly Review

Sharma's debut novel is an uncompromising and unforgettable depiction of the corrosive loop of addiction. Maya is a young woman living in New York with her husband, Peter. She has an afterthought of a job at a bookstore, is sleeping with a former professor, and regularly does heroin. Following a trip to Peter's parents' house for Thanksgiving, during which Maya tries to stop using, Peter leaves her ("You make me feel like an employee," he says to her) and the professor breaks off their affair. Maya's not-very-happy life descends further, becoming a cycle of sleeping with Internet strangers for drug money, attempting to quit, and then resuming. Sharma structures the novel in short bursts of prose, alternately jumping around or lingering in a scene. Despite the floaty plot, there is a propulsive energy in Maya's story, guided by her askew yet precise perspective: "This is the way heroin addiction works: You take four classes thinking you will keep yourself busy, but then you mess it up because you're always high... And so then, what's the point of getting clean? To return to a mostly empty life?" Some readers may find the subject matter too difficult, but in Maya's voice, Sharma has crafted a momentous force that never flags and feels painfully honest. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Book Review

The sardonic story of one woman's eating disorder and drug abuse. Maya, the appealing protagonist of this aptly titled debut novel, is not OK. Her husband, Peter, is an alcoholic; her mother is dying of multiple sclerosis; her late father gave her no attention or affection while he was alive; she is having an affair with a comparably unloving father figure, her professor; she has been unable to get pregnant, despite desperately wanting a child; she is anorexic, living on, at most, 400 calories' worth of peach yogurt a day; and, on top of all this, or maybe because of it, she's been regularly using heroina "chipper"since she was 18. At first, Maya tries to keep her habit minimal, never using more than three days in a row. But when Peter leaves her, those boundaries vanish; she thinks to herself, "Just be a junkie now." To earn money for drugs, she cruises Craigslist for men willing to pay for dates and intimate encounters. And so begins a cycle of varyingly violent sex, extreme heroin use, and lost days. The ease of such a life leaves little motivation to stop. "Also," she writes, "I wasn't thin and blond. I could have cleaned up if I was." In graceful prose, the narrator recounts the hours spent high: "Sounds folded back into the world, moving on, light-years from the living room where I lay around, hardly living." The novel is written so well that the relentless and destructive rhythm of heroin abuse seems calming, metaphysical, and occasionally even funny. Sharma's descriptions are vivid and sage"Sometimes it felt like there was blackness underneath everything. Like a Rothko painting, how the blackness bleeds through"lulling readers into a similarly opiate state to which they will readily succumb and from which, like the protagonist, it will take some time to recover. An absorbing novel carried by a seemingly hopeless protagonist you will want to befriend and save. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.