How To Get Into the Twin Palms
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
the immigration story...At its most illuminating, How to Get Into the
Twin Palms movingly portrays a protagonist intent on both creating and
destroying herself, on burning brightly even as she goes up in smoke."
-New York Times Book Review
"Karolina Waclawiak's debut novel How to Get into the Twin Palms is a quietly stunning exploration of assimilation and personal identity."
- David Gutkowski, Largehearted Boy's Favorite Novels of 2012
"Karolina Waclawiak's debut novel with the spunky little Two Dollar Radio press effectively upends the immigrant-novel formula (more vodka, less upwardly mobile striving), but she's also done a great job at depicting the desperate measures that truly lonely people can take in an attempt to belong. Her complicated antiheroine, Anya, carries this moody story right to its disastrous end."
"Twin Palms has resonance, humor laid over a pulsing knot of emotion,
and a clear, clean voice that you'll want to read more of in the
- Insatiable Booksluts, Read This Book!
"Waclawiak writes about loneliness, isolation, and determination in a refreshing and quirky way."
- Michele Filgate, New York Magazine
"Waclawiak's mix of sad, dark humor is compelling and creates an
other-ness that's hard to shake. In the end, taking the bus along with
Anya-now car-less-we feel, like our narrator, a little singed and
covered in ash. But heck, maybe that's not a bad way to start over?"
- Larissa Zimberoff, The Rumpus
"The immigrant novel is a hallowed literary tradition, but
Believer deputy editor Waclawiak's fresh and bizarre reboot makes us
want to read a million more."
- Emily Temple, Flavorwire's 10 New Must Reads for July
"A taut debut... [that] strikes with the creeping suddenness of a brush fire."
-Publishers Weekly (*starred*)
"Waclawiak takes the immigrant novel and spins it on its head. A great addition to 1.5 generation literature, beautifully written, funny and touching."
How to Get Into the Twin Palms is the story of Anya, a young woman living alone in a Russian neighborhood in Los Angeles, who struggles to retain her parents' Polish culture while trying to assimilate into her newly adopted community.
Anya stalks the nearby Twin Palms nightclub, the pinnacle of exclusivity in the Russian community. Desperate not only to gain entrance into the club but to belong there, Anya begins a perilous pursuit for Lev, a Russian gangster who frequents the seemingly impenetrable world of the Twin Palms.
Karolina Waclawiak received her MFA in Fiction from Columbia University. She is Deputy Editor of The Believer and lives and writes in Brooklyn.
while I did. I looked at him and felt self-conscious. “What?” I said. “I’m just watching, that’s all.” “You have an American accent when you speak Polish, you know?” he continued. “I didn’t.” “It’s like a young child’s Polish.” “I learned it as a child,” I said. “It’s rudimentary.” I looked away. Felt my throat swelling. “I ordered for us,” he said, putting a napkin on his lap. “You don’t know what I wanted.” I rubbed my eyes, they were burning and tired. “They only make one thing good
waving us on and pushing into the hills. Firefighters too. They rushed past, toward the fires, and I craned my neck to see past the masks. I put my windshield wipers on. The ash was coming down like rain and I couldn’t see. I opened the windows and started to cough. I needed a mask. I rolled the windows back up. They were stopping the cars in front of me, asking where they were going. I had no answer when it was my turn and coughed out the window at the policeman. I was directed to make a
didn’t understand us. They just shoved us together, in the pool, at dances. Told us how we were supposed to act now, swaggering. Accent-less, unlike our parents. We still had a chance in this country, we could still pass. I had been in America longer than the rest of these children. Mimicry is what I was good at. I observed and made practiced movements, keeping quiet so that I could listen. It pleased me to know I could do these things. American things like shout cocksucker as a punctuation
and I knew. She said something in Russian to the other women, the women from the stall, and the woman with the Sucrets and Tic Tacs, and I still couldn’t understand. All I heard was the word Lev. She blocked the door and I looked behind me. There were no windows. No stained glass. Just metal-doored bathroom stalls and the Russian woman applying her carrot-colored lipstick. The other two chattering above me. The bathroom attendant stayed mute. “Who you come with?” the leopard lady asked
Tugging at them. “I see Polish girls smoking and they don’t look good when they’re older.” He scolded me like a father would. I didn’t want to think of him as a father. As my father, or as anyone’s father. “Or do what you want,” he said. I pushed the rest of the packs in the black plastic bag with my foot, under my chair. He pulled the leaves off the tree and dropped them on the concrete sidewalk, in front of me and in front of my balcony. Cluttering the walkway. “I’ll probably quit soon.” I