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How to Get Into the Twin Palms

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UPC: 9780983247180
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Author: Karolina Waclawiak
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Two Dollar Radio (August 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983247188
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983247180
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 7 inches

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.


*One of the Best Books of 2012 Salon

"Waclawiak's novel reinvents the immigration story. 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, Editors' Choice

"The novel is beautifully written and so suffused with loneliness it makes you ache. 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

"Excellent... Waclawiak's book turns the traditional immigrant novel on its head, or maybe turns it inside out, or maybe just dyes its hair a nice shade of 'Black Stilettos,' turning its ears black in the process.”

  "Visceral and strong..."

"Karolina Waclawiak has upended the immigrant's tale."
The Week, Author of the Week

"Waclawiak writes about loneliness, isolation, and determination in a refreshing and quirky way.”

View the awesome HORN! REVIEWS review in short graphic novel/comic form.
The Rumpus

"Waclawiak writes of Anya's struggle to belong with wit and sensitive insight... [a] fantastic debut.”
Shelf Awareness 

"Masked by scenes of schmancy nightlife is a story about an immigrant wanting to belong. Barely getting by in LA 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 

"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. How can you separate yourself from the generations of women that have come before you? Is it even possible? Do you like these ancient parts of yourself? Are you proud of them or ashamed?”
HTML Giant 

"Karolina Waclawiak's debut novel, 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 

"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.”
Shelf Unbound Magazine 

"A taut debut... [that] strikes with the creeping suddenness of a brush fire."
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"Waclawiak takes the immigrant novel and spins it on its head. A great addition to 1.5 generation literature, beautifully written, funny and touching.”
—Gary Shteyngart


Karolina Waclawiak received her MFA in Fiction from Columbia University. She is Deputy Editor of The Believer and lives and writes in Brooklyn.