Inside Madeleine

Paula Bomer

Paula Bomer grabbed us by the collar with her first novel, Nine Months. Her vivid and unsympathetic depiction of American womanhood was one of the truest we’d ever read. In her recent short story collection, Bomer paints nine unforgettable portraits of female adolescence.

With titles like “Pussies” and “Breasts,” these stories deal with the bone, blood, and sinew of being born a girl, and the inescapable consequences that are the female birthright. “I just want to jump out of any window,” begins the first story. In Inside Madeleine, we witness young women attempt to escape their own growing and shrinking bodies, men, and even other young women. This culminates in an unforgettably crushing conclusion that connects one generation of weathered girls with the next.


About the Author

Paula Bomer


Paula Bomer is also the author of Nine Months, Baby and Other Stories, and is the publisher of Sententia: A Literary Journal. She lives in Brooklyn.

The first time she told her mother to fuck off, her mother was sitting on the dirty blue velvet couch, reading the newspaper. Polly walked into the living room, excited. Her mother didn’t look up. There was a bottle of beer, open, mostly full, sweating on the table next to her.
“Fuck you!” Polly said, clenching and unclenching her fists.
Her mother looked up, alarmed, but without missing a beat, she whacked Polly across the face with the newspaper.

—Paula Bomer, “Down the Alley” from Inside Madeleine

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