Award-winning author, Mary Otis of Yes, Yes, Cherries ("Funny, brave, and amazing" --Lorrie Moore) delivers an arresting debut novel that explores the relationship complexities between mothers and daughters, the desire to escape, and the longing to connect. Burst is a powerful story about how we become--and unbecome--our mothers, how we absorb the past, and how we burst into our own futures.
Viva has always found ways to manage her mother's impulsive, eccentric, and addictive personality. She's had to--for her entire life, it has always been Viva and Charlotte against the world. After accidentally discovering an innate ability for dance, Viva chases her new passion with the same fervor with which her mother chases the bottle. Over the years, Viva's talent becomes a ticket to a life of her own, and as she moves further away from home to pursue her dream, Charlotte struggles to make peace with her own past as a failed artist and the effects of her addiction. When tragedy strikes, Viva begins a downward spiral and must decide whether she will repeat her mother's mistakes or finally take control of her life.
Told from interwoven perspectives with lyrical writing as deft as a choreographed dance, Burst excavates a mother-daughter relationship to reveal its gorgeous beating heart.
About the Author
Mary Otis is the author of the short story collection Yes, Yes, Cherries. Her fiction, essays, and poetry have been published in Best New American Voices, Electric Literature, Tin House, Zyzzyva, McSweeney's, Bennington Review, The Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, and numerous other literary journals and anthologies. She has taught fiction at UCLA and was a founding professor in the UC Riverside Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing Program. Originally from the Boston area, Mary lives in Los Angeles.