Matthew Sharpes debut collection, Stories from the Tube, was praised in the Los Angeles Times Book Review for its wildly effective-and often touching-collisions of the banal and the surreal. Wiredcalled it unsettling, lovely, creepy; Forbes FYI heralded it as a remarkable fiction debut. In Nothing Is Terrible, his first novel, Sharpe astonishes once again with the hallucinatory and hilarious story of a girls unusual coming-of-age and her search for love in unlikely places.
Her name is Mary White, though she prefers to be called Paul, the name of her ill-fated twin brother. Bright, pragmatic, irreverent, and orphaned, she is being raised by her clueless aunt and uncle and fears she may be about to drown in dull suburban torpor-until she falls in love with her new sixth-grade teacher, Miss Skip Hartman. Devoted teacher and pupil run off to live in New York City, where Mary receives a very unconventional education (art dealers, drug dealers, boyfriends, epic piercings) and discovers redemptive power in even the most unorthodox kind of love, all of which she relates in the most Brontëan gentle-reader tone.
In Nothing Is Terrible, Matthew Sharpe takes the bildungsroman and turns it upside down and inside out. Like a breakneck sprint through a Manhattan house of mirrors, it offers readers a giddily literate tour of the resourceful mind of a singular young woman.