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Hummingbirds is a wonderfully compelling novel about the intertwining and darkly surprising relationships at the elite Carmine-Casey School for Girls on Manhattan's Upper East Side, where the rivalries and secrets of teachers and students intersect and eventually collide.
In the world of students, popular Dixie Doyle battles to wrest attention away from Liz Warren, who spends her time writing and directing plays based on the Oresteia. In the world of teachers, Leo Binhammer must now share his territory with Ted Hughes, the new English teacher who threatens Binhammer's status as sole owner of the girls' hearts. Seasons change and tensions mount as the students, longing for entry into the adult world, toy with their premature powers of flirtation. The deceptive innocence of adolescence becomes a trap into which flailing teachers fall, as the line between maturity and youth begins to blur.
About the Author
Joshua Gaylord has taught at an Upper East Side prep school for the past ten years. He also teaches literature and cultural studies as an adjunct professor at the New School. He lives in New York.
Praise for Hummingbirds…
“Provocative and well written.”
“[A] winning debut . . . Lush language . . . A very grown-up novel about adolescence and the folly of adults, by an impressive new voice in American fiction.”
-Kirkus Reviews (starred)
“Gaylord has delivered a story that’s ripe with acute and wry observations on men and women, competition, sexuality, and secrets.”
“The complicated web of loyalties, attraction, competition and camaraderie [in HUMMINGBIRDS] provides much tension as things play out—but not in an expected way. . . . Gaylord’s tale of overeducated men and the teenage students who exhibit the finesse and understanding their teachers lack hits all the right notes.”
“HUMMINGBIRDS is a sly, charming novel about the students at a Manhattan girls’ school and the adults who sometimes remember to teach them. Joshua Gaylord’s winning debut.”
-Brock Clarke, author of An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England
“Hummingbirds positively glistens with erudition and insight. Whether writing about prep school girls or the adult men who walk among them, Gaylord’s stunning writing elevates his subject matter with equal parts humanity and elegance.”
-Jonathan Tropper, author of This Is Where I Leave You
“Keenly plotted and psychologically acute, this novel thrums with deceptions great and small—what we don’t tell each other, and what we won’t admit to ourselves.”
-Ed Park, author of Personal Days