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In Case of Emergency Hardcover – 25 Sep 2014

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 330 pages
  • Publisher: McSweeney's (25 Sept. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1940450268
  • ISBN-13: 978-1940450261
  • Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 2.8 x 20.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,600,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


Winner of the 2014 Bisexual Book Award for Fiction!

"In Case of Emergency is a fine novel about coping with trauma. The EMS scenes are raw and believable and struck me as not exaggerated or excessive in any way. And though it will most likely be classed as 'medical fiction,' what happens outside the ambulance is just as gripping. In the end I was left with a feeling of dignity and humanity. A heartfelt execution of an engaging story." —Shannon Burke, author of Black Flies

"In Case of Emergency is a dark love song, dark as a bruise, for the LA no one seems to see, but it's also a careening, haunted, and hilarious ride. I will never look at a human ear, or hear a distant siren, the same way again." —Susan Straight, author of Between Heaven and Here

"Piper may be a rookie with a lot to learn, but Moreno’s inspiring debut reads like it’s been written by someone with years of experience already under her belt.”
—K.M. Soehnlein, author of Robin and Ruby and The World of Normal Boys

"Moreno writes about physical and emotional damage with such precision that the reader feels supine, strapped into her own ambulance, careening from page to page. It's a story about the greatest emergency of all: the plight of being a human with a fragile heart, beating amidst all these dangers."
—Joshua Mohr, author of Some Things That Meant the World to Me

"In Courtney Moreno's In Case of Emergency the working class save the world and themselves. A wonderful first book!" —Ali Liebegott, author of Cha-Ching!

"You can't decide whether you want to slap or hug Piper, but the pleasures of getting to know her are undeniable. You root for her in the hopes that the world is generous and that even the flawed will know love. A big-hearted novel that will make you vow to love, however imperfectly, that much harder." —Alice Wu, screenwriter/director of Saving Face

"In Case of Emergency is here for you. To startle you into awareness. To remind you once again of the visceral urgency of desire, the urgency of fear, of loss, and of the fear of loss. To teach you about the eerie structures that undergird all that desire and fear and loss: organs and city streets, nerves and neighborhood maps, bones and veins and arteries. The patterns we use to make meaning from chaos. Also: the mysterious allure of risk, fear, and disaster. The calamitous pleasures of a thumping heart. You’ll love this book." —Stephen Beachy, author of boneyard

"In this confident, well-paced debut novel... Moreno deftly weaves the themes of medicine and family together, probing the extent to which science can and can’t help us care for one another." —Publishers Weekly

"In this emotionally moving, well-written, engaging novel, Moreno strikes a profound balance between the clinical logic of trauma and the personal irrationality of a young woman dealing with her demons." —Kirkus

"Reminiscent of Leslie Jamison's essay on medical acting in her collection The Empathy Exams, Courtney Moreno's book uses the coping mechanisms she learned while working as an EMT to color her narrator's painful past. Moreno confronts both physical and psychological trauma, expertly blurring the lines between the two." —Huffington Post

"In Case of Emergency is a knockout debut with a wildly beating heart."—Bustle

"Moreno … explores the aftereffects of trauma with considerable insight."
San Jose Mercury News

"The narration... relays the traumas of the job, punctuating the seemingly counterintuitive hands-on lessons [Piper] learns ('do not treat; only label') with all-organic nuggets of wisdom: 'There's nothing as painful as desire; wanting something only reminds you of your shortcomings.' " —SF Weekly

"[A] truly impressive debut novel from a highly skilled new author." —The Masters Review

"Moreno’s debut is a visceral knockout with a wildly thumping heart — an acute meditation on human fragility and an exploration of compassion, fear, pain, and the ways in which we deal daily with trauma in all its forms. Packed with science, poetry and parable, In Case of Emergency pushes the reader to contemplate the plight and beauty of being human." —Bustle

About the Author

Courtney Moreno’s award-winning writing has been published in LA Weekly and Best American Nonrequired Reading. She received a B.S. in molecular biology from the University of California, Berkeley, and an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of San Francisco. During the ten years in between, she worked as an entomologist’s assistant, lab technician, clinical research coordinator, stagehand, set carpenter, modern and aerial dancer, EMT, and field training officer. She lives in San Francisco.

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