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Sleeping Arrangements by Laura Shaine Cunningham


Sleeping Arrangements by Laura Shaine Cunningham

This is the magical memoir of Lily Shaine, an orphan brought up by her two eccentric bachelor uncles in New York in the 1950s. Uncle Len is a six-foot-six-inch private investigator, a trench-coated cross between Abraham Lincoln and Sam Spade. Uncle Gabe, a librarian, is a confirmed dreamer who writes gospel songs in his spare time. With these two men as mentors, the human jungle of the Bronx as her playground, the schoolroom as her torture chamber and very knowing little girls as her playmates, Lily learns the secrets of life, sex, death and, above all, family love. A wry, funny and deeply affectionate portrait of the most unlikely of happy families, Sleeping Arrangements is a modern classic.


'The pages of this memoir are lit with movingly vivid recollections of friendship and adventure and fierce childhood games, but although there is plenty to enthuse about, the book's real magic lies in its understatedness. Original and memorable'
Mail on Sunday

'Reads like a novel ... You may find yourself sitting very quietly, mulling over the marvels of this truly wonderful book'
Anne Tyler

'Her description of the feral Diana is one of the best child portraits I've read in its balance of innocence and corruption, play and manipulation ... This book is hot; it beats with the authentic pulse of childhood ... With verve and tenderness, she takes us there'
Daily Telegraph

'So extraordinary, you wonder how she can have held it in reserve ... Shaine Cunningham magics sparkling, sweet-natured comedy in a book that is as rich and multi-textured as fiction'
Marie Claire

About the Author

Laura Shaine Cunningham's books include the novels, Dreams of Rescue (to be published by Bloomsbury in 2006), Beautiful Bodies, and one other memoir, A Place in the Country. She lives in New York and writes regularly for the theatre (Beautiful Bodies leads a dual life as a play with global popularity) and for publications such as the New Yorker, New York Times and Atlantic Monthly.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st January 2006


Laura Shaine Cunningham

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Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


240 pages


Autobiography: literary



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