"Just as Anya reinvents herself, Waclawiak's novel (her first) reinvents
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."- Jennifer Croll, Georgia Straight Best Books of the Year
"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.
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Karolina Waclawiak: Karolina Waclawiak received her MFA in fiction from Columbia University. She is the Deputy Editor of The Believer and lives and writes in Brooklyn.Review:
"Not only is How to Get into the Twin Palms about the overwhelming state that is displacement, it's about what happens when loneliness becomes unbearable. Waclawiak writes through these tensions so elegantly, so tenderly, that How to Get Into the Twin Palms is, by far, one of my favorite books this year."
- Roxane Gay, The Rumpus
Meaningful message: Masked by scenes of schmancy nightlife is a story about an immigrant wanting to belong. Plot notes: Barely getting by in L.A. on bingo-calling, Anya reinvents herself. With hair dye and a push-up bra, she tries to gain entry into the Twin Palms nightclub.
- Marie Claire's list of favorite reads
"The premise is comical, but the story is deep, as Anya bumps up against the world in an attempt to define her identity as both an immigrant and a woman." - Flavorpill, 10 Novellas Perfect for Literary Lounging
"How to Get Into the Twin Palms presents a vividly drawn portrait of Los Angeles inhabited by alienated immigrants, Russian Gangsters, and sex-starved bingo-addicted octogenarians - all enveloped by smoldering fires that threaten to burn the city down." -Christine Schutt, Poets & Writers 2012 First Fiction
"Sex-crazed, surreal, dreamy, violent, escapist, and always searching for some kind of truth. The book makes me think of questions I ask myself all the time."
- Sara Finnerty, HTML Giant
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