Ms. Hempel Chronicles (Harcourt)
What is a middle-school teacher? Is Ms. Hempel the old-maid meanie we remember fearing in childhood? Or is she, as she believes, a barely-out-of-college young woman on the threshold of life? Some days, though, she feels like a has-been, already washed up. We examine the way this novel-in-stories explores different and opposing points of view, until it expands and becomes a description of consciousness itself.