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‘Oleander time,’ she said. ‘Lovers who kill each other now will blame it on the wind.’
— WHITE OLEANDER

AVAILABLE NOW

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White Oleander

 

Astrid is the only child of a single mother, Ingrid, a brilliant, obsessed poet who wields her beauty to intimidate and manipulate. Astrid worships her mother and cherishes their private world of ritual and mystery. But their idyll is shattered when Astrid's mother murders a lover, and is sentenced to prison for life.

White Oleander follows Astrid through a a series of foster homes and her efforts to find a place for herself in the world. Each home is its own universe, with a new set of laws and lessons. Astrid's journey investigates the nature of the mother-daughter bond, burgeoning sexuality, the redemptive powers of art, and the unstoppable force of the emergent self.

An Oprah's Book Club selection and 2002 Feature Film

 


Hardcover, Paperback, Ebook, Audiobook

Praise…
for White Oleander

Janet Fitch writes with breathtaking beauty about the central theme of our age: the search for self. White Oleander is a remarkable debut novel.
— ROBERT OLEN BUTLER
Liquid poetry.
— OPRAH WINFREY
A ferocious, risk-loving novel... intimate and epic.
— LOS ANGELES TIMES
Emotionally gripping... eerily seductive.
— BOSTON GLOBE
A stunning debut novel... startlingly original.... The Reader enters an imaginative world as deep as a forest....Ingrid and Astrid are two of the freshest, most engaging characters to appear in recent memory.
— SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
White oleander, a beautiful but poisonous plant, is a metaphor for motherhood in this impressive first novel.... Fitch’s startlingly apt language relates a story that is both intelligent and gripping.
— NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
A truly gifted writer.... Astrid’s journey is much, much more than the gripping, page-turning adventure of a young hero tripping through life. It is life.
— DENVER POST
White Oleander is likely to be the best debut this reviewer has ever read.... Heartbreaking, but without a trace of sentimentality, it provokes amazement.
— LIBRARY JOURNAL (starred review)
White Oleander resonates with commitment to no other master than the art of storytelling itself.
— SEATTLE TIMES
A dazzling debut, a triumph of voice and character.... White Oleander is the moving and complex story of Astrid’s journey through six foster homes across southern California, each one an unnerving snapshot of American family life. Fitch’s prose is fresh and evocative.... Stunning.
— BLOOMSBURY REVIEW
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Who am I? I am who I say I am and tomorrow someone else entirely. You are too nostalgic, you want memory to secure you, console you. The past is a bore. What matters is only oneself and what one creates from what one has learned. Imagination uses what it needs and discards the rest—where you want to erect a museum. Don’t hoard the past...don’t cherish anything. Burn it. The artist is the phoenix who burns to emerge.
— Ingrid Magnussen in WHITE OLEANDER
 

 
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