WORD LISTS

"Self-Made Boys" by Anna-Marie McLemore, Chapters 29–40

October 28, 2022
Based on the classic novel The Great Gatsby, this work follows the story of Nicolás Caraveo, a seventeen-year-old transgender boy who moves to New York and meets his mysterious neighbor Jay Gatsby, another transgender boy with an extravagant and decadent lifestyle.

Here are links to our lists for the novel: Letters–Chapter 6, Chapters 7–14, Chapters 15–22, Chapters 23–28, Chapters 29–40
scepter
Pink and white peonies and what I thought were water lilies crowned her hair. She even carried a scepter of a wand topped with a gold-edged 
bloom.
upstart
An upstart socialite had burst onto the social scene with a golfer whose style matched her skill.
herald
Within days, newspaper columns would herald Jordan and Daisy as an illustration of the new age, one in which girls and women forged their own paths across ballrooms and into the world.
stupor
Tom threw a punch, but in his stupor he’d lost his polo player’s aim.
oblige
“Do you need help finding the way out?” Gatsby gripped Tom’s jacket and turned him. “I’m happy to oblige.”
bearing
But he straightened up in a way that revealed a soldier’s bearing and readiness.
scalloped
The gentle slope of her skirt looked like a dark sea she was rising from. The scalloped hem moved like the edges of waves.
scrutinize
Jordan watched the road with such focus it cinched her eyebrows, but she spared a moment to scrutinize my face.
prod
Jordan gave a nod, encouraging and prodding.
stricken
Daisy’s stricken expression warmed.
“I’m so very embarrassed,” she said.
sedate
Myrtle’s brothers looked almost sedated by Daisy.
ethereal
She would be the ethereal dream that floated across their closed eyelids tonight.
machination
“You should have told me what you were doing. I’m not about to be the center of any of your little machinations without my knowledge.”
denounce
Daisy Fay had distanced herself from my brown skin and black hair. She had denounced me like a false religion.
lush
Gatsby drove us out of the Ash Heaps and toward the lush green of West Egg.
resolute
The voice came resolute and loud.
concierge
A pane of glass stood between me and the worried face of a concierge.
ominous
I hope you and Jay have had it out by now. Why, that sounds ominous, doesn't it? I didn't mean it that way. I mean I hope you've discussed things.
ballast
I reached out to the wall to ballast myself.
artful
I know that if we make a life together, we’ll have to do it with the most artful discretion on earth.
quantum
We were electrons flying across each other’s orbits, throwing off quanta of light and energy.
shoal
Every feature of him I learned, I wanted to learn in greater depth and detail, every bay and channel and shoal.
brooch
She’d admitted I was her cousin. And she’d admitted it so these brooch-wearing little old ladies wouldn’t do me in.
scorn
But a young woman as well-dressed and seemingly white as Daisy, alongside someone like me, drew anything from curiosity to scorn.
substantial
I couldn’t remember if I’d ever heard her say the words I'm sorry for anything more substantial than stepping on someone’s foot or knocking over a sugar bowl.
notwithstanding
“You’re not a thief. Your sisters’ accusations about their combs and lipstick notwithstanding.”
incidentally
Our family’s debts look like they were paid off by generous local benefactors who, incidentally, each made large philanthropic donations to churches and shelters and charitable organizations in the area at the same time.
philanthropic
Our family’s debts look like they were paid off by generous local benefactors who, incidentally, each made large philanthropic donations to churches and shelters and charitable organizations in the area at the same time.
estuary
“Fine. I’ll help you with something else. What kind of math is it?”
She smiled. “Modeling currents and debris distribution within a tidal estuary.”
guileless
No performance, no show for an audience, just her hopeful, guileless face as she waited for Jordan’s answer.
prowess
“This isn’t about your acting prowess,” Jordan said.
currant
She compared two bottles of currant syrup.
respective
So later, we put together the details of our respective scenes to understand how it had all happened.
charade
“Oh, a ring.” She threw a bitter laugh at him. “What a pretty little reminder of this whole charade.”
callous
Daisy presented the callous chill of almost forgetting him, letting everyone despise or admire her for how she’d used a boy so clearly in love with her.

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