Win a Family Weekend Break with Lovereading and VisitWiltshire - click here for details...

books of the month newgen books for YA readers
Search our site
Once A Pilgrim by James Deegan Read the opening extract of the brand new James Deegan book before its publication on 25/01/2018

Reader Reviewed
Saint Mazie by Jami Attenberg
  

Saint Mazie

Literary Fiction   Historical Fiction   eBook Favourites   eBook Favourites   
Download an extract Discuss on Facebook Discuss this book on our Literary Contemporary Facebook group Share this book

Lovereading view...

An astonishing, stimulating, and quite quite wonderful novel based on the life of the indomitable Mazie Phillips who lived in New York through some of the most interesting times of the first part of the 20th century. With a fictional mix of diaries, recounting of family history and an unpublished autobiography, this has an almost documentary feel to it; it is quite matter of fact, which cleverly emphasises the emotion and feeling behind the written word. There is a stark rawness to this novel, it feels as though the author has seen a truth, felt a connection to Mazie and born witness to her audacious individuality. In this interesting, clever read, Attenberg takes a fictional peek at the woman behind the celebrity, in all her gutsy, passionate, courageous glory. ~ Liz Robinson

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Phylippa Smithson - 'I am missing Saint Mazie so much since finishing this most excellent and engaging memoir of her life.  Quite brilliant.'
  • Suze Lavender - 'Saint Mazie is a beautiful story about a remarkable woman...I liked this book a lot, it’s one of the best books I’ve read in a very long time.'
  • Edel Waugh - 'I loved this book!...This is a book that will make you forget all that is happening around you. Pure escapism! What a woman!'
  • Francesca Ashurst - 'an important book because it shows how the kindness and compassion of one person can transform the lives of others...I can’t stress how wonderful this novel is, I couldn’t put it down.'
  • Barbara Gaskell - 'A great time had by all. Recommended... Jami Attenberg’s approach to the structure of the book was interesting although the story itself and the wonderful character of Mazie needed no added frills.'
  • Gill Wilmott - 'Not my sort of book, but very well written and I believe other types of reader, especially those with more knowledge of New York than I, may well enjoy it more.'
  • Janet Gilliard - 'The style is a little unusual and takes a while to get used to but is worth the effort.'

Win a year of Muriel Spark...!

Win a year of Muriel Spark...Marking her centenary, you could win all 22 novels in collectable, hardback editions published by Polygon, each complete with an Introduction from a leading writer PLUS a copy of the warm and humorous memoir of Alan Taylor’s friendship with Spark. These novels are published with the support of Creative Scotland and The Muriel Spark Society.

The winner will receive the copies as they are published during 2018. The initial package is likely to include: The Comforters, The Ballad of Peckham Rye, Memento Mori, Robinson, A Far Cry From Kensington, The Bachelors, The Girls of Slender Means, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and the memoir by Alan taylor Appointment in Arezzo.

The value of competition is over £220.00!

To have a chance of winning this fantastic prize, click the button below. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once.

The draw closes on 28 January 2018. The winner will be announced on the centenary of her birth, 1 February 2018.

Good luck!

Enter prize draw Draw closes: 28/01/2018

Synopsis

Saint Mazie by Jami Attenberg

From the bestselling author of The Middlesteins comes comes this unique novel about a forgotten heroine of the 1930s. Meet Mazie Phillips: big-hearted and feisty, she runs The Venice, the famed movie theatre in the rundown Bowery district of New York City. She spends her days taking tickets, chatting with drunks and eccentrics, and chasing out the troublemakers. After closing up, the nights are her own, and she fills them with romance and booze aplenty-even during Prohibition. When the Great Depression hits, and homelessness soars, Mazie opens The Venice to those in need, giving them shelter and dimes for food and booze, and earning the nickname 'Saint Mazie'. Inspired by Joseph Mitchell's essay about Mazie in Up in the Old Hotel, acclaimed author Jami Attenberg's novel honours an extraordinary life and heralds a completely original approach to writing historical fiction. Weaving together fictionalised diaries, writings and interviews, Attenberg has constructed an utterly convincing portrait of Mazie Philips, which is also a deeply moving portrait of New York as it passed through the First World War, Prohibition, the boom of the '20s, and then the terrible depression of the '30s.

Reviews

Fascinating ... Attenberg's prose is sharp, fast-paced and economical, brilliantly channelling Mazie's vivacious character. And despite being set firmly in the past, Mazie's experiences of grief, family, friendship and mental health are timeless and universal Observer Attenberg's novel reads like a very real portrait of the 1920s and 1930s ... this is a novel with as big a heart as Mazie herself Independent Full of love and drink and dirty sex The New York Times A terrific novel, touching, funny and big-hearted -- Monica Ali Fierce, feisty and moving, this is a fine portrait of an inspiring woman The Sunday Express Jami Attenberg's fictional reconstruction of Mazie's life is a bold departure from how historical novels are usually written. Split between fictionalised diary entries, excerpts from The Unpublished Autobiography of Mazie Phillips-Gordon (also fiction) and Attenberg's invented interviewees, the structure resonates a relentless energy that keeps the narrative rattling along ... Attenberg captures Mazie's voice so vividly you can close the book and still hear her talking. She is a tremendous achievement ... and you sure won't forget her in a hurry. Attenberg has written a bold, magnificent book about family, altruism, women and freedom, as well as a love letter to New York and a timely social manifesto for the 21st century. What more can we ask of our fiction? Guardian Wonderful -- Viv Groskop Red Fresh and witty... Saint Mazie looks deep into the spirit of generosity. Jami Attenberg's Mazie lives a very big life in a very small space, turning her darkest experiences into something inspiring Wall Street Journal Ingeniously constructed... An attentive character study that also happens to be rich in city lore and period detail, Saint Mazie is an edifying, companionable and moving novel Kansas City Star Tender-hearted and loose-living. Mazie is the unlikely guardian angel of New York City's Depression-era down-and-outs. You'll love this smart, touching novel that brings her world to life People Magazine A hard-nosed heroine with a heart of gold, Mazie will leave her mark on you Book Diva Saint Mazie offers proof again that Jami Attenberg is a brilliant, lion-hearted storyteller -- Maggie Shipstead, author of Seating Arrangements I'd love to be Jami Attenberg for a day to see what she sees. The next best thing is to read the touching, funny, and wise Saint Mazie, which is as difficult to categorise as the hard-living, heart-breaking, soul-saving ticket-taker it is about -- Charlotte Rogan, author of The Lifeboat Saint Mazie is a novel with as much style and moxie as its titular character. I missed Mazie Gordon-Phillips and her family when I was finished reading, but I missed New York, too. By telling this one woman's story, Jami Attenberg has managed to write an ode to New Yorkers of every generation. She is a true poet of the city -- Gabrielle Zevin, author of The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry


About the Author

Jami Attenberg

Jami Attenberg is the author of Saint Mazie; The Middlesteins, which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction and was published in nine countries; a story collection, Instant Love; and the novels The Kept Man and The Melting Season. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Author photo © Zack Smith

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

18th February 2016

Author

Jami Attenberg

More books by Jami Attenberg
Author 'Like for Like'
    recommendations

Author's Website

jamiattenberg.com/site/

Author's Facebook Latest

Loading facebook updates...
Loading twitter updates...

Publisher

Profile Books Ltd

Format

Paperback
288 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
Historical Fiction
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9781846689925

I love the newsletter with reviews of all the new books coming out. Can't wait to open it when it arrives in my inbox.

Rachel Aygin

I love reading because my cares & woes vanish for an hour or two whilst I read of the joys, adventures, lives of the characters in the book.

Jennifer Moville

It's the first site that I visit when deciding on the next set of books to buy. A particular treat is being able to download an extract.

Tessa Olson

A well laid out site, I love the fact that is separates paranormal fiction from fantasy and horror, which other sites don't.

Jen Rainbow

It has opened my eyes to different authors and genres. Just log on and try, you will be surprised and not want for reading material again.

Jocelyn Garvey

I love the 'like for like' author recommendations, it's like an old friend whispering in your ear.

Emma Caddick

I read new, exciting writers and established authors before publication and there is a great website full of brilliant books and opinions.

Lynda

You can trust Lovereading to show unbiased reviews by actual, ordinary readers that help likeminded booklovers choose their next great read.

Linda Hill

Lovereading4kids

Lovereading4schools