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Long, Goldberry 1967(?)-

LONG, Goldberry 1967(?)-

PERSONAL:

Born c. 1967, in NM. Education: Attended Iowa Writers Workshop.

ADDRESSES:

Home—East Palo Alto, CA. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Simon & Schuster, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020.

CAREER:

Writer. Night school teacher.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Glimmer Train Press Very Short Fiction Award, second place, 1998, for "Heaven"; Wallace Stegner fellowship, Stanford University; James Michener fellowship; Hackney Literary Award for the Novel, 2001, for Juniper Tree Burning.

WRITINGS:

Juniper Tree Burning, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2001.

Contributor of short stories to periodicals.

SIDELIGHTS:

A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop who now lives in California, Goldberry Long published her debut novel in 2001 to generally warm acclaim. Juniper Tree Burning is composed of stories within stories: of relationships, communities and names. The book is a 460-page journey through the life of protagonist Jennie Braverman, born Juniper Tree Burning to hippie parents in the 1970s.

Juniper/Jennie and her younger brother, Sunny Boy Blue, spent their childhoods in the desert of New Mexico in an adobe stable with no running water. They were dressed in used clothes and never visited doctors, but instead were "healed" with their parents' versions of Native American ceremonies. To say these children were neglected is optimistic; they were the forgotten offspring of distracted parents.

The bulk of the novel focuses on a grown-up Jennie, now married and a medical student, and how she handles her beloved brother's suicide. The reader is allowed glimpses into Jennie's past in the form of memories and recollections told from her viewpoint. What emerges is the narrative of a journey through emotional abuse and the personal victories and failures of the victims. While noting that the book contains "so much," indeed, "too much, if you haven't got the patience," Emily Baillargeon Russin wrote in Seattle Weekly online that "it's a rare thing for a book to feel this genuinely whole despite its many themes and variations, for language to be so breathtaking it hits all the truest emotional pitches."

Despite the novel's weighty subject, critics generally agreed that Long's treatment is realistic, and Chatelaine reviewer Bonnie Schiedel praised the author's "dark sense of humour." "Entertaining but unflinching, Burning is …an unsentimental song of grief and forgiveness," wrote Michelle Vellucci in People. Janet Maslin in the New York Times wrote that, "What matters most about Jennie and makes Ms. Long's debut a powerful one is the sheer brazenness and gusto with which Jennie is brought to life on the page."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Book, July, 2001, review of Juniper Tree Burning, p. 13.

Booklist, May 15, 2001, Nancy Pearl, review of Juniper Tree Burning, p. 1732.

Chatelaine, August, 2001, Bonnie Schiedel, review of Juniper Tree Burning, p. 12.

Library Journal, May 15, 2001, Susan A. Zappia, review of Juniper Tree Burning, p. 164.

Los Angeles Times, July 29, 2001, Mark Rozzo, review of Juniper Tree Burning, p. 10.

New York Times, June 18, 2001, Janet Maslin, "A Strange Name and Other Burdens," review of Juniper Tree Burning, p. 8.

New York Times Book Review, August 5, 2001, Louisa Kamps, review of Juniper Tree Burning, p. 23.

People, July 16, 2001, Michelle Vellucci, review of Juniper Tree Burning, p. 39.

Publishers Weekly, May 28, 2001, review of Juniper Tree Burning, p. 49.

Washington Post Book World, June 24, 2001, "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?," p. T07.

ONLINE

Seattle Weekly online,http://www.seattleweekly.com/ (January 13, 2002), Emily Baillargeon Russin, review of Juniper Tree Burning.

SFGate,http://www.sfgate.com/ (July 7, 2001), Megan Harlan, "What's in a Name? Hers Says a Lot: Child of Hippies Struggles to Escape."

Simon & Schuster UK Web site,http://www.simonsays.com/ (January 13, 2002).

The Stranger.com,http://www.thestranger.com/ (March 6, 2002), review of Juniper Tree Burning. *

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