Faced with the sudden and unexpected death of her mother, disillusioned novelist Joanna Jacobs begins chronicling her unruly childhood in 1960's Cleveland, Ohio. But the writing exercise that starts out as a means to reflect and refocus becomes a journal of Joanna’s rebellious existence. Jewish and gay, yet unwilling to expose herself to the accompanying scrutiny and rejection, Joanna spends much of her youth fostering chaos and embracing self-denial, even while celebrating an affirming commitment to the psychiatric ward.
After a inadvertent bomb threat to a conservative talk-show host brings the FBI knocking on her door, Joanna finds herself navigating an unexpected immigrant invasion, a crew of juvenile delinquents in her living room, and a never ending low pressure system. When the going finally gets too tough to wrangle alone, Joanna turns to her lifelong friends for emotional support—but this comfort is tempered by a confusing cocktail of lingering hurts, unresolved anger, and resurgent disappointment, making it even more difficult for Joanna to put her life to paper.
Postcards from the Canyon is a snapshot of one woman's rapidly changing world, where control is an illusion and chaos offers shelter from an unrelenting storm.
"Gitlin’s writing is sharp, infused with a dark, irreverent wit."Â —ForewordReviews
"I cleared my day and sat down to read, and soon realized that I was having the same emotional sense that I had when I first read her debut,I Came Out for This?—and suddenly every thing in life felt good." —Amos Lassen Reviews