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My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “Russell manages a brutal originality. . . . [an] exceedingly complex, inventive, resourceful examination of harm and power.” —The New York Times Book Review, Editors’ Choice “To call this book a ‘conversation piece’ or ‘an important book’ feels belittling . . . [it] is so much more than that. It’s a lightning rod. A brilliantly crafted novel.”—The Washington Post A most anticipated book by The New York Times • USA Today • Entertainment Weekly • Marie Claire • Elle • Harper's Bazaar • Bustle • Newsweek • New York Post • Esquire • Real Simple • The Sunday Times • The Guardian Exploring the psychological dynamics of the relationship between a precocious yet naïve teenage girl and her magnetic and manipulative teacher, a brilliant, all-consuming read that marks the explosive debut of an extraordinary new writer. 2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher. 2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenager—and who professed to worship only her—may be far different from what she has always believed? Alternating between Vanessa’s present and her past, My Dark Vanessa juxtaposes memory and trauma with the breathless excitement of a teenage girl discovering the power her own body can wield. Thought-provoking and impossible to put down, this is a masterful portrayal of troubled adolescence and its repercussions that raises vital questions about agency, consent, complicity, and victimhood. Written with the haunting intimacy of The Girls and the creeping intensity of Room, My Dark Vanessa is an era-defining novel that brilliantly captures and reflects the shifting cultural mores transforming our relationships and society itself.
My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell
An instant New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller'A package of dynamite' Stephen King'Powerful, compulsive, brilliant' Marian Keyes'Takes a grip on the reader and never lets go' Hilary MantelAn era-defining novel about the relationship between a fifteen-year-old girl and her teacherALL HE DID WAS FALL IN LOVE WITH ME AND THE WORLD TURNED HIM INTO A MONSTERVanessa Wye was fifteen-years-old when she first had sex with her English teacher.She is now thirty-two and in the storm of allegations against powerful men in 2017, the teacher, Jacob Strane, has just been accused of sexual abuse by another former student.Vanessa is horrified by this news, because she is quite certain that the relationship she had with Strane wasn't abuse. It was love. She's sure of that.Forced to rethink her past, to revisit everything that happened, Vanessa has to redefine the great love story of her life - her great sexual awakening - as rape. Now she must deal with the possibility that she might be a victim, and just one of many.Nuanced, uncomfortable, bold and powerful, My Dark Vanessa goes straight to the heart of some of the most complex issues of our age.
An instant New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller 'A package of dynamite' Stephen King ‘Powerful, compulsive, brilliant’ Marian Keyes ‘Takes a grip on the reader and never lets go’ Hilary Mantel An era-defining novel about the relationship between a fifteen-year-old girl and her teacher
Marlena by Julie Buntin
A National Book Critics Circle Leonard Prize Finalist Longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize Named a Best Book of the Year by Vogue, BuzzFeed, The Washington Post, Esquire, Harper's Bazaar, NPR, NYLON, Huffington Post, Kirkus Reviews, Barnes & Noble Chosen for the Book of the Month Club, Nylon Book Club, and Belletrist Book Club Named an Indie Next Pick and a Barnes and Noble Discover Pick The story of two girls and the wild year that will cost one her life, and define the other’s for decades Everything about fifteen-year-old Cat’s new town in rural Michigan is lonely and off-kilter until she meets her neighbor, the manic, beautiful, pill-popping Marlena. Cat is quickly drawn into Marlena’s orbit and as she catalogues a litany of firsts—first drink, first cigarette, first kiss, first pill—Marlena’s habits harden and calcify. Within the year, Marlena is dead, drowned in six inches of icy water in the woods nearby. Now, decades later, when a ghost from that pivotal year surfaces unexpectedly, Cat must try again to move on, even as the memory of Marlena calls her back. Told in a haunting dialogue between past and present, Marlena is an unforgettable story of the friendships that shape us beyond reason and the ways it might be possible to pull oneself back from the brink.
Excavation by Wendy C. Ortiz
Wendy C. Ortiz was an only child and a bookish, insecure girl living with alcoholic parents in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Her relationship with a charming and deeply flawed private school teacher fifteen years her senior appeared to give her the kind of power teenagers wish for, regardless of consequences. Her teacher -- now a registered sex offender -- continually encouraged her passion for writing while making her promise she was not leaving any written record about their dangerous sexual relationship. This conflicted relationship with her teacher may have been just five years long, but would imprint itself on her and her later relationships, queer and straight, for the rest of her life. In Excavation: A Memoir, the black and white of the standard victim/perpetrator stereotype gives way to unsettling grays. The present- day narrator reflects on the girl she once was, as well as the teacher and parent she has become. It's a beautifully written and powerful story of a woman reclaiming her whole heart.
Cat Person And Other Stories by Kristen Roupenian
FEATURING A BRAND NEW STORY “What’s special about ‘Cat Person,’ and the rest of the stories in You Know You Want This, is the author’s expert control of language, character, story—her ability to write stories that feel told, and yet so unpretentious and accessible that we think they must be true.” —The New York Times Book Review “Kristen Roupenian isn’t just an uncannily great writer, she also knows things about the human psyche—things that I always supposed I would learn at some point, but never did…The world has made a lot more sense since reading this book.” —Miranda July, New York Times bestselling author “If you think you know what this collection will be like, you’re wrong. These stories are sharp and perverse, dark and bizarre, unrelenting and utterly bananas. I love them so, so much.” —Carmen Maria Machado, National Book Award Finalist and author of Her Body and Other Parties A compulsively readable collection of short stories that explore the complex—and often darkly funny—connections between gender, sex, and power across genres. Previously published as You Know You Want This, “Cat Person” and Other Stories brilliantly explores the ways in which women are horrifying as much as it captures the horrors that are done to them. Among its pages are a couple who becomes obsessed with their friend hearing them have sex, then seeing them have sex…until they can’t have sex without him; a ten-year-old whose birthday party takes a sinister turn when she wishes for “something mean”; a woman who finds a book of spells half hidden at the library and summons her heart’s desire: a nameless, naked man; and a self-proclaimed “biter” who dreams of sneaking up behind and sinking her teeth into a green-eyed, long-haired, pink-cheeked coworker. Spanning a range of genres and topics—from the mundane to the murderous and supernatural—these are stories about sex and punishment, guilt and anger, the pleasure and terror of inflicting and experiencing pain. These stories fascinate and repel, revolt and arouse, scare and delight in equal measure. And, as a collection, they point a finger at you, daring you to feel uncomfortable—or worse, understood—as if to say, “You want this, right? You know you want this.”
Putney by Sofka Zinovieff
In the spirit of Notes on a Scandal and Zoe Whittall's The Best Kind of People, an explosive, powerful novel about the far-reaching repercussions of an illicit relationship. A rising star in the London arts scene of the early 1970s, gifted composer Ralph Boyd is approached by renowned novelist Edmund Greenslay to score a stage adaptation of his most famous work. Welcomed into Greenslay's sprawling bohemian house in Putney, an artistic and prosperous district in southwest London, the musical wunderkind is introduced to Edmund's beautiful activist wife Ellie, his aloof son Theo, and his nine-year old daughter Daphne, who quickly becomes Ralph's muse. Ralph showers Daphne with tokens of his affection--clandestine gifts and secret notes. In a home that is exciting but often lonely, Daphne finds Ralph to be a dazzling companion. Their bond remains strong even after Ralph becomes a husband and father, and though Ralph worships Daphne, he does not touch her. But in the summer of 1976, when Ralph accompanies thirteen-year-old Daphne alone to meet her parents in Greece, their relationship intensifies irrevocably. One person knows of their passionate trysts: Daphne's best friend Jane, whose awe of the intoxicating Greenslay family ensures her silence. Forty years later Daphne is back in London. After years lost to decadence and drug abuse, she is struggling to create a normal, stable life for herself and her adolescent daughter. When circumstances bring her back in touch with her long-lost friend Jane, their reunion inevitably turns to Ralph, now a world-famous musician also living in the city. Daphne's recollections of her childhood and her growing anxiety over her own young daughter eventually lead to an explosive realization that propels her to confront Ralph and their years spent together. Masterfully told from three diverse viewpoints--victim, perpetrator, and witness--Putney is a subtle and enormously powerful novel about consent, agency, and what we tell ourselves to justify what we do, and what others do to us.
The Power Notebooks by Katie Roiphe
Katie Roiphe, culture writer and author of The Morning After, shares a “beautifully written” (The New York Times Book Review) “astute memoir [that] reverberates with rich prose, crisp pacing, and self-compassion” (Publishers Weekly) and an essential discussion of how strong women experience their power. Told in a series of notebook entries, Roiphe weaves her often fraught personal experiences with divorce, single motherhood, and relationships with insights into the lives and loves of famous writers such as Sylvia Plath and Simone de Beauvoir. She dissects the way she and other ordinary, powerful women have subjugated their own power time and time again, and she probes brilliantly at the tricky, uncomfortable question of why. “Although Ms. Roiphe seems to be exposing her vulnerabilities here, she is actually, once again, demonstrating her unique brand of fearlessness” (The Wall Street Journal). The Power Notebooks is Roiphe’s most vital, thought-provoking, and emotionally intimate work yet.
His Favorites by Kate Walbert
A “tense, taut, and thrilling” (Marie Claire) novel about a teenage girl, a predatory teacher, and a school’s complicity from the highly acclaimed, bestselling National Book Award finalist and author of A Short History of Women—“riveting, terrifying, exactly the book for our times” (Ann Patchett). They were on a lark, three teenaged girls speeding across the greens at night on a “borrowed” golf cart, drunk. The cart crashes and one of the girls lands violently in the rough, killed instantly. The driver, Jo, flees the hometown that has turned against her and enrolls at a prestigious boarding school. Her past weighs on her. She is responsible for the death of her best friend. She has tipped her parents’ rocky marriage into demise. She is ready to begin again, far away from the accident. “Devastatingly relevant” (Vogue) and “fueled by gorgeous writing” (NPR), His Favorites reveals the interior life of a young woman determined to navigate the treachery in a new world. Told from her perspective many years later, the story coolly describes a series of shattering events and a school that failed to protect her. “Before things turn treacherous, there’s a moment when predation can feel dangerously like kindness…Walbert understands this…His Favorites begs to be read” (Time).
American Dirt by JEANINE. CUMMINS
'Breathtaking... I haven't been so entirely consumed by a book for years' Telegraph 'I couldn't put it down. I'll never stop thinking about it' Ann Patchett FEAR KEEPS THEM RUNNING. HOPE KEEPS THEM ALIVE. Vivid, visceral, utterly compelling, AMERICAN DIRT is the unforgettable story of a mother and son's attempt to cross the US-Mexico border. A sensation from the moment it published, it continues to create debate and ignite conversation globally. Yesterday, Lydia had a bookshop. Yesterday, Lydia was married to a journalist. Yesterday, she was with everyone she loved most in the world. Today, her eight-year-old son Luca is all she has left. For him, she will carry a machete strapped to her leg. For him, she will leap onto the roof of a high speed train. For him, she will find the strength to keep running.