OR Books
(September 2012)



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Jeanne Thornton

THE DREAM OF DR. BANTAM is a love story unlike any other, featuring Julie Thatch, a tough-as-nails, chainsmoking, wise-cracking 17-year-old Texan. Her idol, her older sister, kills herself by walking in front of a car. And Julie falls in love with a girl who both is and isn't an echo of her older sister, a long-limbed French expatriate named Patrice--who is also a devotee of the Institute of Temporal Illusions, a Church of Scientology-like cult.

Jeanne Thornton's ear for dialogue is amazing; the exchanges witty, vivid--and heartbreaking. A young transgender native of Michigan, now living in Austin, Texas, Jeanne publishes an alternative 'zine in Austin ("Rock Salt") and works as a freelance editor for the publishing industry.

Jeanne's former writing teacher at the U. of Texas, Alexander Parsons (author of Leaving Disneyland and Shadows on the Sun) writes: "The Dream of Doctor Bantam is one of those books you read every few years in which, page by page, you come to think of the characters as a part of your own dear, weird, and intransigent family. In Julie Thatch, Thornton has written a character as memorable and compelling as Holden Caufield or Oedipa Maas. She is alternately hilarious, maddening, and enchanting, a fearful and fearless smartass who enlivens every page of this fine novel. Thornton's compassion, humor, and insight, even when dealing with a cultish 'institute' not dissimilar from a certain Church of S. ... infuse and energize each line of the prose. Bantam is one of those rare books that beats with a great heart."

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