The Paradox of Vertical Flight

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9780062238535: The Paradox of Vertical Flight

Hilarious, deeply moving, mind-bending, original, romantic, and surprising, this debut teen novel by Emil Ostrovski will appeal to fans of John Green, Chris Crutcher, and Andrew Smith. Gary Shteyngart, author of the New York Times bestseller Super Sad True Love Story, says: "Do yourself a favor and get inside a car with Emil Ostrovski immediately! The Paradox of Vertical Flight is an amazing road trip. You're in for one heck of a ride." An Indie Next Pick!

On the morning of his eighteenth birthday, Jack Polovsky kidnaps his own baby, names him Socrates, stocks up on baby supplies at Walmart, and hits the road with his best friend, Tommy, and with the baby's mother, Jess. As they head to Grandma's house (eluding the police at every turn), Jack tells baby Socrates the Greek myths—because all stories spring from those stories, really. Even this one. By turns funny, heart wrenching, and wholly original, this debut novel by Emil Ostrovski explores the nature of family, love, friendship, fatherhood, and myth.

"Shares a sense of humor and philosophical bent with such YA authors as John Green and Chris Crutcher. But the story and likable characters are Ostrovsky's own, a delightful mix of quirky, intelligent, naive, well-intentioned, and just plain dumb teens. A delightful success."—ALA Booklist

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Emil Ostrovski and Lauren Myracle talk about Emil’s debut novel, The Paradox of Vertical Flight.

Emil Ostrovski emigrated to the US from Russia when he was two years old. He graduated from Vassar College in the spring of 2012 and is now attending Columbia University’s MFA program for creative writing. The Paradox of Vertical Flight is his first novel.

Lauren Myracle is the author of many books for teens and young people, including the New York Times–bestselling Internet Girls series; Shine; Rhymes With Witches; Bliss; The Infinite Moment of Us, which is a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2013; and the Flower Power series. She lives with her family in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Lauren Myracle: Emil, you are one smart dude, and as an author, you have created in Jack another awfully smart dude. Jack’s also a loner, and at one point in the novel he’s an almost-pill-popper with the goal of almost killing himself. His self-inflicted isolation seems directly related to his crazy-smart brain relentlessly grinding its crazy-smart gears, because it’s hard to be smart sometimes. There’s a question my friends and I often asked each other in high school, and I’d love to hear your answer, in all seriousness: Would you, Emil, rather be smart or kind? And no, you can’t say/suggest/or in any other clever way circle around to saying “both.”

Emil Ostrovski: As a kid, I never really thought of myself as smart. Other things, like soccer-playing ability, were, I judged, far more important. School and grades and why I’d gotten a C in fourth grade art and the grammar lessons my father tried to subject me to (I remember being very much perplexed by the rather metaphysical definition of a verb as “a state of being”) didn’t inform much of my identity. But as I grew older and it became more and more apparent that I would not, in fact, become a professional soccer player, or Tae Kwon Do grandmaster, I invested ever more of myself in this idea of being smart, or, specifically, book-smart. To the point that the younger Emil almost seems like a different person (perhaps a better one).

All this is to say, while I think it’s much more important to be kind than to be smart, if God or The Flying Spaghetti Monster or A Hyper-Intelligent Shade of the Color Blue descended from heaven and asked me to choose between the two, I’m not sure I’d have the strength of character to choose kindness. But surely, I think, kindness would be the right choice. It would be the choice I hope I would make. Because I believe kindness is more valuable than academic intelligence, and when I say valuable, I don’t mean it in a utilitarian way. I mean, simply, kindness is more meaningful, more beautiful. When I see a stranger help a mother lift her baby carriage up the subway steps, I think in that gesture, we get a glimpse of all human goodness—friendship, love, self-sacrifice.

And I know you said not to try to be clever, but I want to point out that perhaps kindness and empathy form a part of a different kind of intelligence. A social intelligence. Without academic intelligence we might not have computers, or planes, or, well, nuclear and biological weapons. Without social intelligence, or kindness, or empathy, or whatever you want to call it, we wouldn’t even be human.

Finish the interview here.

From the Back Cover:

Falling is the only way we can fly.

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Emil Ostrovski
Verlag: Harpercollins Publishers Inc Sep 2014 (2014)
ISBN 10: 0062238531 ISBN 13: 9780062238535
Neu Taschenbuch Anzahl: 2
(Einbeck, Deutschland)

Buchbeschreibung Harpercollins Publishers Inc Sep 2014, 2014. Taschenbuch. Buchzustand: Neu. Neuware - Falling is the only way we can fly. 272 pp. Englisch. Artikel-Nr. 9780062238535

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