gb nadzam headshot

In literature, examining taboos is often the quickest way to open the heart of a culture’s darkest fears and secrets. What we most abhor often marks the limits of our shared identity. So what happens when we cross those lines? For Bonnie Nadzam, the Daehler Fellow in Creative Writing at Colorado College, the question was the portal into her yet unpublished novel, LAMB. Like Lolita before it, LAMB leads you quickly into a dark moral wood and lulls you into the rhythm of its language. By the time you realize that what’s happening, it has already happened and you’re hooked. And that’s all in the first chapter.

DISCLAIMER: THE FOLLOWING CHAPTER IN BOTH WRITTEN AND RECORDED FORM CONTAINS ADULT SITUATIONS AND LANGUAGE.

You can listen to Ms. Nadzam read the first chapter of LAMBhere (or download it at the bottom of the post):

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Or you can download in PDF format HERE and read it yourself. (LAMB by Bonnie Nadzam. Copyright © 2009 by Bonnie Nadzam. Reprinted by permission of Georges Borchardt, Inc. on behalf of the author. All rights reserved.)

You can also listen to a brief interview we did with Ms. Nadzam here:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Bonnie Nadzam will be teaching fiction writing at CC this year. She has short stories published and forthcoming in The Kenyon Review, The Alaska Quarterly Review, The Mississippi Review, Callaloo, Ninth Letter, and others. She is the fiction editor for 42opus.

(We plan to keep featuring fiction and other writings by folks from within the Pikes Peak Community and those passing through. If you’d like your work to be considered, please send us a short sample to thebigsomething@krcc.org. Let us know what you think of this in the comments below. We appreciate it! Thanks.)

Downloadable version of Chapter 1 of LAMB:

 

21 Responses to Big Something Fiction: A Latter Day Lolita?

  1. Phil says:

    The hyperlink for chapter 1 of Lamb is incorrect. It points to the interview instead.

  2. Noel Black says:

    Hi Phil,

    Not sure why it did that, but you can stream the chapter now and disregard the player at the bottom. We’ll try to get a downloadable version up as quickly as possible.

    Thanks for bringing that to our attention!

    Noel

  3. David Mason says:

    Terrific writing! So glad to hear it read so beautifully by Bonnie. Thanks, Noel, for making it available.

    Dave

  4. emily straka says:

    wow i think it is amazing and i want to know what happens next

  5. emily straka says:

    wow i think it is amazing and i want to know what happens next

  6. Hilda says:

    This is beautiful writing about a minefield of a topic and it avoids the usual cliches. I look forward to reading more!

  7. Chris N says:

    I enjoyed the reading and the interview. They make me want to read the book. Thanks!

  8. Angela says:

    Wow. I was enthralled. When can I read the rest? You have a unique mastery of language, Ms. Nadzam. Dysopic and harsh and very edgy. I finished the chapter wanting.

  9. Chris says:

    Your prose is vivid and enthralling – rarely am I so engaged by “legitimate” fiction. I’m looking forward to hearing you read in person this year!

  10. Bill says:

    Oh my God is this good! It just drops you right into the action and you’re there, even though you really don’t want to be. Amazing, Bonnie. Can’t wait to read more!

    I love that this avoids the easy answer, that she went of her own volition.

  11. Christa says:

    Fantastic! I WILL buy this book once it is published.

  12. Tom says:

    Beautiful writing. Amazing specificity and clarity. I was dropped immediately into a dark intriguing world. I Look forward to hearing more.

  13. Jeanne says:

    Thanks for sharing new literature. The nuances, like the red mag light, pulls in the reader into your world. Can’t wait to read the rest.

  14. marri says:

    Absolutely beautiful language with amazing cadence – and yet accessible in the best of ways. I can’t wait for the rest – as soon as this is published, I’m picking up a copy!

  15. Emily says:

    Congrats Bonnie! This is beautiful.

  16. Bryan says:

    Bonnie Nadzam is the real thing. This is excellent. Can’t wait to read the rest. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Sanne says:

    This is amazing, good speaking and words!

  18. MrPuffy says:

    Mesmerizing. You really have a gift for bringing the reader into the scene. I’ll definitely be watching for this release.

  19. Nick says:

    Questions:

    Is there an email list or something that I can sign up for so I can be notified when the rest of this comes out? Can it be pre-ordered?

    Will there be an audiobook?

  20. Lindsey says:

    Fantastic writing! I can’t wait for more. It’s rare for a budding author to have such intensity and depth. You already write like an experienced pro!

  21. [...] Bonnie Nadzam’s Lamb, “tracing the monstrous transformation of a middle-aged man . . .  as he turns his attention to an awkward 11-year-old girl,” to the Other Press. [...]

News

AP
August 27, 2014 | NPR · Kent Sorenson pleaded guilty in federal court to switching sides between GOP presidential candidates in exchange for under-the-table payments. The former state senator previously denied the rumors.
 

August 27, 2014 | NPR · Under the deal, immigrants who are in the country illegally must be informed of their right to a hearing before an immigration judge. The ACLU was representing nine Mexicans and three organizations.
 

Courtesy of Oxfam
August 27, 2014 | NPR · Some governments recently said that agricultural investments should supply “culturally acceptable food.” Now they’re trying to define what that is.
 

Arts & Life

Lifetime
August 27, 2014 | NPR · Lifetime’s new makeover show layers racial politics on top of the uncomfortable dynamics of manipulating beauty and style choices, and comes up with something to offend just about everyone.
 

August 27, 2014 | NPR · C.K. won an Emmy for outstanding writing in a comedy series for an episode on his FX show Louie. In 2011, C.K. told Fresh Air about making his comedy special and his relationship with other comedians.
 

iStock
August 27, 2014 | NPR · Take a moment to reflect on some big and beautiful ideas.
 

Music

August 27, 2014 | NPR · As part of an All Things Considered series on trade lingo, music producer Don Was explains the word “clam” — a mistake made by a musical performer.
 

Courtesy of the artist
August 27, 2014 | NPR · Aimee Mann and Ted Leo’s latest video as The Both, for the song “Volunteers Of America,” is a touching celebration of life and love.
 

Ebru Yidiz for NPR
August 27, 2014 | NPR · African psychedelia, funked-up Indian bhangra and haunting music from France by way of Cuba — a deep treasure trove of cuts to end your summer on a high note.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab