A Farewell to Walmart / November 2016 / Little A
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Reflecting on her transformation from Podunk pariah to well-traveled millennial writer, Carly J. Hallman knows that life in small-town America isn’t all bake sales and friendly smiles—sometimes it just plain sucks.
A delightful tongue-in-cheek collection of essays on topics such as lobsters and puberty, A Farewell to Walmart follows eight-year-old Hallman past the superstore’s automatic doors on opening day in 1995 through her sophomore year of college—a time defined by baby fat, ridicule, and, above all, the constant presence of Walmart. Along the way, she learns to navigate middle-school drama, deals with the death of a peer, and ultimately figures out what it takes to move on from everything that’s held her back.
Supported by a lively cast of characters, including a flatulent grandfather, a sadistic gym coach, and Chewbacca—yes, the real one—Hallman perfectly encapsulates how a big-box store can be the cultural epicenter of small-town life and the launching pad to a wider world.