13 (Zeitoun novel)
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13 is the debut novel of Canadian author Mary-Lou Zeitoun, first published in 2002 by Porcupine's Quill.
Marnie Harmon is a 13 year old girl growing up in Ottawa. Initially she attends an ordinary high school, where she is alienated from her peers, who don't understand her angst, her rejection of fashionable clothes. She experiences unwelcome attention from a male teacher, and when she tries to retaliate, she is the one who is punished, being sent to a Roman Catholic high school.
It is at the more controlled school that Marnie makes friends, among the schools other rebels. They engage in rebelious behavior, like underage drinking, and hanging out in strip clubs.
Her dream of running away to New York City, to meet her hero, John Lennon, is the narrative arc that cements the story.
Ray Robertson praised the novel's sparse narrative style, writing: "Whereas a less plot-conscious writer might have let Marnie marinate for 140 pages in her own emotional juices, stewing in the sop of her oh-so-sensitive soul, Zeitoun cleverly uses Marnie's obsession with meeting Lennon as a simple but effective storyline to hang a series of witty observations about the life of a properly alienated teenager."
Quill and Quire wrote: "First-time novelist Mary-Lou Zeitoun’s 13 wryly evokes an unavoidable time and place in everyone’s life – the teenage years – without rendering the experience into saccharine nostalgia."
- Viviane Kertesz (2012-11-06). "13: Review". Quill and Quire. https://quillandquire.com/review/13/. Retrieved 2018-05-16. "First-time novelist Mary-Lou Zeitoun’s 13 wryly evokes an unavoidable time and place in everyone’s life – the teenage years – without rendering the experience into saccharine nostalgia."
- Martin, Sandra; Caldwell, Rebecca. "NEW CANADIAN WRITERS: 10 to watch". Archived from the original on 2018-05-16. https://web.archive.org/web/20180516043947/https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/new-canadian-writers-10-to-watch/article4134697/. Retrieved 15 May 2018. "Reading 13 is like going through adolescence all over again."