How To Get Into the Twin Palms
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
the immigration story...At its most illuminating, How to Get Into the
Twin Palms movingly portrays a protagonist intent on both creating and
destroying herself, on burning brightly even as she goes up in smoke."
-New York Times Book Review
"Karolina Waclawiak's debut novel How to Get into the Twin Palms is a quietly stunning exploration of assimilation and personal identity."
- David Gutkowski, Largehearted Boy's Favorite Novels of 2012
"Karolina Waclawiak's debut novel with the spunky little Two Dollar Radio press effectively upends the immigrant-novel formula (more vodka, less upwardly mobile striving), but she's also done a great job at depicting the desperate measures that truly lonely people can take in an attempt to belong. Her complicated antiheroine, Anya, carries this moody story right to its disastrous end."
"Twin Palms has resonance, humor laid over a pulsing knot of emotion,
and a clear, clean voice that you'll want to read more of in the
- Insatiable Booksluts, Read This Book!
"Waclawiak writes about loneliness, isolation, and determination in a refreshing and quirky way."
- Michele Filgate, New York Magazine
"Waclawiak's mix of sad, dark humor is compelling and creates an
other-ness that's hard to shake. In the end, taking the bus along with
Anya-now car-less-we feel, like our narrator, a little singed and
covered in ash. But heck, maybe that's not a bad way to start over?"
- Larissa Zimberoff, The Rumpus
"The immigrant novel is a hallowed literary tradition, but
Believer deputy editor Waclawiak's fresh and bizarre reboot makes us
want to read a million more."
- Emily Temple, Flavorwire's 10 New Must Reads for July
"A taut debut... [that] strikes with the creeping suddenness of a brush fire."
-Publishers Weekly (*starred*)
"Waclawiak takes the immigrant novel and spins it on its head. A great addition to 1.5 generation literature, beautifully written, funny and touching."
How to Get Into the Twin Palms is the story of Anya, a young woman living alone in a Russian neighborhood in Los Angeles, who struggles to retain her parents' Polish culture while trying to assimilate into her newly adopted community.
Anya stalks the nearby Twin Palms nightclub, the pinnacle of exclusivity in the Russian community. Desperate not only to gain entrance into the club but to belong there, Anya begins a perilous pursuit for Lev, a Russian gangster who frequents the seemingly impenetrable world of the Twin Palms.
Karolina Waclawiak received her MFA in Fiction from Columbia University. She is Deputy Editor of The Believer and lives and writes in Brooklyn.
walkway above me. No sex sounds were starting. I tried to be extra quiet and looked at the pool. The water was still and there was a film over it. Small bugs and debris. Maybe other things mixed in. Sex things. The ladies had made me think about sex and how I would need it forever. How I’d never be able to escape it. I got back into my car and headed home. I wanted to see Lev tonight. I wanted him and his smell. I drove down Hollywood under the 101 and down Vine, before hitting the Walk of
neighborhood stayed dark and uninviting, only alive during the day. “Marlboro Lights, please.” I didn’t want anything fancy today. He grunted at me and leaned to get the pack. “Hard pack.” I tossed the sausage to the dog. He ate it up without question while I perused the magazines. The lights from the magazine stand were bright. Bug-killer bright. I was all alone with the dog. The man with the sparrows on his neck scratched at his arm like there was something under his skin. He was really
wife pulled him away and he dragged their suitcases out of the office and down the street. The attendant came back. He put the “ring this bell for the attendant” bell back in its place and started cleaning up the pamphlets the old man had strewn around. I walked up and into the glass room. He looked startled when I came in, like I was going to throw something at him, like I was the old man. I walked over to the wooden case of Los Angeles attraction pamphlets and touched them all, slowly. I could
fuzziness wasn’t going away. He opened the Vaseline and squeezed too much out. He smeared it on his face. “You’re not doing it right.” “Do it for me then.” “No.” I walked away. Closed my bedroom door again. I put my head down on my pillow and waited to stop hearing his sounds. “Anya.” He came in and crawled into bed beside me. “You still have no sheets.” I rolled over and tried to get away from him. “I have to stay here a couple of days.” “No.” He pulled me close. Wrapped his arm
face touches the scruff of their arm. The mink of their sleeve. They curse me in Russian. Suka. Bitch. In Polish, bitch is kurwa… coorvaaah, but could also be a whore. Was suka a whore too? Who else but a whore would rub her cheek against their furs? I watch them walk up the stairs and want to follow. I round the corner and hear the sound wafting down the street. Suka. Suka. Suka. The women go upstairs. The men stay behind. Smoke. Snuff out cigarettes. I try passing again. The men stare at me