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Hey Harry, Hey Matilda

Cover of Hey Harry, Hey Matilda

Hey Harry, Hey Matilda

A Novel
Hey Harry, Hey Matilda is the story—told entirely in hilarious emails—of fraternal twins Harry and Matilda Goodman as they fumble into adulthood, telling lies and keeping secrets, and finally confronting their complicated twinship.
Matilda Goodman is an underemployed wedding photographer grappling with her failure to live as an artist and the very bad lie she has told her boyfriend (that she has a dead twin). Harry, her (totally alive) brother, is an untenured professor of literature, anxiously contemplating his publishing status (unpublished) and sleeping with a student. When Matilda invites her boyfriend home for Thanksgiving to meet the family, and when Harry makes a desperate—and unethical—move to save his career, they set off an avalanche of shame, scandal, and drunken hot tub revelations that force them to examine the truth about who they really are. A wonderfully subversive, sensitive novel of romantic entanglement and misguided ambition, Hey Harry, Hey Matilda is a joyful look at love and family in all its forms.
Hey Harry, Hey Matilda is the story—told entirely in hilarious emails—of fraternal twins Harry and Matilda Goodman as they fumble into adulthood, telling lies and keeping secrets, and finally confronting their complicated twinship.
Matilda Goodman is an underemployed wedding photographer grappling with her failure to live as an artist and the very bad lie she has told her boyfriend (that she has a dead twin). Harry, her (totally alive) brother, is an untenured professor of literature, anxiously contemplating his publishing status (unpublished) and sleeping with a student. When Matilda invites her boyfriend home for Thanksgiving to meet the family, and when Harry makes a desperate—and unethical—move to save his career, they set off an avalanche of shame, scandal, and drunken hot tub revelations that force them to examine the truth about who they really are. A wonderfully subversive, sensitive novel of romantic entanglement and misguided ambition, Hey Harry, Hey Matilda is a joyful look at love and family in all its forms.
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Excerpts-
  • From the cover Hey Harry,

    Today was kind of a wash. I spent fifteen minutes on hold with my bank before I pounded enough 00000000s into the phone to connect me to a real person. I was convinced this fraudulent entity called SBUX on my statement was slowly and erroneously taking money out of my account in $4 and $5 increments. I was extremely put out that I had to spend my time dealing with this. I was really outraged.

    It turns out SBUX is Starbucks. I had to hang up on the customer service lady because she was being smug.

    Unrelated: Did you know "Pomeranian" is an adjective referring to Pomerania, an area divided between Poland and Germany? Maybe that's why Pomeranians look so much like Grandma.

    .

    Hey Matilda,

    Life is logistics. You've got to learn to deal with these daily annoyances, Mat. You're too hard done by.

    Me, I make lists. You should make a list each morning and then follow it carefully.

    .

    Hey Harry,

    I just put three hundred Christmas lights (so cheap off-­season!) on a tree that's barely three feet high. If I look at it and then look away quickly, little dots swim across my field of vision. It's pretty excellent. In other news, the lady across the street keeps her blinds about twelve inches raised, so that when she's just out of the shower and her lights are on, I can see the swath of her upper thigh to her lower abdomen, and her pubic hair is a wild, distracting show. It's like the classic '70s pubic hair that you just don't see anymore.

    The Brazilian bikini wax craze has had a really pervasive and detrimental effect on vaginas, Harry. This kind of thing is a rare occurrence.

    Needless to say, I'm tremendously visually inspired right now. What's new with you?

    (Don't tell Mom about the tree.)

    .

    Hey Matilda,

    Two resounding thoughts from my weekend.

    One: There was a woman in the newspaper saying she doesn't like French-­kissing. This has caused problems in her marriage, but she just can't bring herself to do it. I feel somewhat vindicated by this. But I won't say I told you so.

    Two: I watched basketball for a while on TV and had the realization that fouls are bad, not good! You don't actually want to make them. That clears some things up for me about seventh-­grade gym.

    Anyway, that's all for today—­I'm off to grade some disappointing papers.

    .

    Hey Harry,

    I don't remember you telling me you don't like French-­kissing, but I'll let you tacitly tell me so. I just got home and these were the contents of my mailbox, so I made a list. I don't like what this says about me, it doesn't seem true.

    A. Two Ivy League alumni magazines

    B. Two New Yorkers

    C. Two New York magazines

    D. One Economist magazine

    E. Two artist residency rejections

    Then I had to have some bourbon.

    .

    Hey Matilda,

    The boyfriend reads the Economist? I give you two seven more months at the outside.

    I'm sorry you've forgotten that I don't like kissing, but I'm sure you do remember that I like to get all my important correspondence out to folks on Tuesday mornings, as that's when they're most likely to read and respond. Tuesday between 10 and 11 a.m. After coffee, before lunch haze. So hopefully I have your full attention right now.

    I think you're having bad luck, to be sure, with this residency stuff, but I also think your energy isn't in the right place. I just read this great book called Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. It teaches how, by ordering the information that enters our consciousness, we can discover true happiness and greatly improve the quality of...
About the Author-
  • RACHEL HULIN is a writer and photographer. Her personal essays and writing about photography have appeared in Rolling Stone, Nerve, Radar Magazine, Huffington Post, and The Daily Beast. Her photography book, Flying Henry, was released by PowerHouse Books in 2013. Her work has been shown at Jen Bekman Gallery, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Wallspace Gallery, and the New York Photo Festival, among others. Hulin has lectured about her own work, professional practices, and about the role of social media in photography at ICP, SVA, Parsons, Brown University, RISD,and MIAD. Editorial photography clients include Martha Stewart Living, Country Living, Whole Foods Magazine, and Fitness Magazine. Hulin has a BA from Brown University and an MA from NYU. She is represented by ClampArt Gallery in New York. She lives with her husband and two children in Providence, Rhode Island.
    http://www.rachelhulin.com
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 17, 2016
    In her debut novel, Hulin explores the complicated relationship between 32-year-old fraternal twins, Harry and Matilda Goodman, through their email correspondence. Matilda is an eccentric Brooklyn-based wedding photographer, and Harry is an English professor at a Connecticut university hoping to publish and procure tenure. The content of their emails spans their daily experiences, worries about the future, and memories. They share secrets—Matilda admits that she told her boyfriend that her twin had died; Harry confides in her after making an unethical move in his career—while avoiding other secrets. Their messages are often laugh-out-loud funny, as when Matilda recounts the weddings she photographs, and when they forward each other emails from their philosophizing, self-absorbed father. As the siblings meander through various topics, some messages seem superfluously detailed; however, this slowly leads to a disclosure that puts their correspondence into a different light. Visual cues seem integral to Hulin’s project—Matilda illustrates feelings with diagrams, and photographs separate each section. Though the narrative is constrained by the epistolary form, even when the twins prompt each other to write a scene “like a movie” or “like a story,” the book is an entertaining caper and a thought-provoking look at family, memory, and the complexities of love.

  • AudioFile Magazine Both hysterically funny and heartbreakingly real, Hulin's audiobook is a story about twins, family, life's best and worst moments, and what we do when things don't go the way we planned. As the story is told entirely in email messages, narrators Ari Fliakos and Kristen Sieh portray Harry and Matilda. The quirky 30-something fraternal twins revisit their past, navigate their present, and try to figure out their future. The closeness between the twins is apparent as they share accounts of first kisses, stalled careers, unexpected pregnancy, and family secrets. Listeners can expect to nod their heads in agreement, laugh out loud, and even tear up as they get to know--and love--Harry and Matilda. K.S.M. � AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine
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Hey Harry, Hey Matilda
Hey Harry, Hey Matilda
A Novel
Rachel Hulin
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