Ellen Foster

by American novelist, Kaye Gibbons

"So what do you do when that spinning starts and the motion carries the time wild by you and you cannot stop to see one thing to grab and stop yourself? You stand still the best you can and say strong and loud for the circle of spinning to stop so you can walk away from the noise. That is how I walked then."

(Gibbons 110)

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From working in a cotton field to sitting in a room with a dead woman, Ellen proves herself to be a brave and extraordinary young lady. Ellen Foster, an 11 year old girl, is put through some tough situations no 11 year old should go through. Shortly after she is abused in many different ways, Ellen leaves her home to find a caring and loving family. After many, many attempts, she finally finds what she is looking for.

". . .a haunting story that begs to be read in one sitting."
- Publishers Weekly on Sights Unseen

"A terrific book. . .The story of a redoubtable girl who overcomes adversity with humor, spunk, and determination."
- Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World on Ellen Foster

"Among Ms. Gibbons's triumphs in the novel is her ability to disappear into her narrator so completely that the story seems to come straight from Ellen's mouth without authorial intervention." - Stephen McCauley, The New York Times Book Review on Ellen Foster

"Full of unforgettable scenes and observations, characters drawn surely and sharply, and writing that is both lyrical lightning-keen, this is a novel of vision and grace. It shines." - Josephine Humpreys, Los Angeles Times Book Review on A Cure for Dreams


Ellen Foster, received the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, a Special Citation from the Ernest Hemingway Foundation, and the The Louis D. Rubin, Jr. Prize in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Gibbons is a member of theFellowship of Southern Writers, and two of her books, Ellen Foster and A Virtuous Woman, were selected for Oprah's Book Club in 1998.


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