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About Sigrid Nunez
Sigrid Nunez was born in New York City, the daughter of a German mother and a Chinese-Panamanian father, whose lives she drew on for part of her first novel, A FEATHER ON THE BREATH OF GOD (1995). She went on to write six more novels, including THE LAST OF HER KIND (2006), SALVATION CITY (2010), THE FRIEND (2018), and WHAT ARE YOU GOING THROUGH (September, 2020). She is also the author of SEMPRE SUSAN: A MEMOIR OF SUSAN SONTAG (2011). Her honors include a Whiting Award, a Rome Prize, a Berlin Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the 2018 National Book Award for Fiction. Her work has been translated into more than 20 languages. Learn more at www.sigridnunez.com.
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SHORTLISTED FOR THE INTERNATIONAL DUBLIN LITERARY AWARD
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
"A beautiful book … a world of insight into death, grief, art, and love." —Wall Street Journal
"A penetrating, moving meditation on loss, comfort, memory...Nunez has a wry, withering wit." —NPR
"Dry, allusive and charming…the comedy here writes itself.” The New York Times
A moving story of love, friendship, grief, healing, and the magical bond between a woman and her dog.
When a woman unexpectedly loses her lifelong best friend and mentor, she finds herself burdened with the unwanted dog he has left behind. Her own battle against grief is intensified by the mute suffering of the dog, a huge Great Dane traumatized by the inexplicable disappearance of its master, and by the threat of eviction: dogs are prohibited in her apartment building.
While others worry that grief has made her a victim of magical thinking, the woman refuses to be separated from the dog except for brief periods of time. Isolated from the rest of the world, increasingly obsessed with the dog's care, determined to read its mind and fathom its heart, she comes dangerously close to unraveling. But while troubles abound, rich and surprising rewards lie in store for both of them.
Elegiac and searching, The Friend is both a meditation on loss and a celebration of human-canine devotion.
A NEW YORK TIMES CRITICS’ TOP BOOK OF 2020
“As good as The Friend, if not better.” —The New York Times
“Impossible to put down . . . leavened with wit and tenderness.” —People
“I was dazed by the novel’s grace.” —The New Yorker
The New York Times–bestselling, National Book Award–winning author of The Friend brings her singular voice to a story about the meaning of life and death, and the value of companionship
A woman describes a series of encounters she has with various people in the ordinary course of her life: an ex she runs into by chance at a public forum, an Airbnb owner unsure how to interact with her guests, a stranger who seeks help comforting his elderly mother, a friend of her youth now hospitalized with terminal cancer. In each of these people the woman finds a common need: the urge to talk about themselves and to have an audience to their experiences. The narrator orchestrates this chorus of voices for the most part as a passive listener, until one of them makes an extraordinary request, drawing her into an intense and transformative experience of her own.
In What Are You Going Through, Nunez brings wisdom, humor, and insight to a novel about human connection and the changing nature of relationships in our times. A surprising story about empathy and the unusual ways one person can help another through hardship, her book offers a moving and provocative portrait of the way we live now.
From Sigrid Nunez, the National Book Award-winning author of The Friend, comes A Feather on the Breath of God: a mesmerizing story about the tangled nature of relationships between parents and children, between language and love
A young woman looks back to the world of her immigrant parents: a Chinese-Panamanian father and a German mother. Growing up in a housing project in the 1950s and 1960s, she escapes into dreams inspired both by her parents' stories and by her own reading and, for a time, into the otherworldly life of ballet. A yearning, homesick mother, a silent and withdrawn father, the ballet--these are the elements that shape the young woman's imagination and her sexuality.
"The masterpiece of the ‘I knew Susan’ minigenre" – A.O. Scott, The New York Times
A poignant, intimate memoir of one of America’s most esteemed and fascinating cultural figures, and a deeply felt tribute.
Sigrid Nunez was an aspiring writer when she first met Susan Sontag, already a legendary figure known for her polemical essays, blinding intelligence, and edgy personal style. Sontag introduced Nunez to her son, the writer David Rieff, and the two began dating. Soon Nunez moved into the apartment that Rieff and Sontag shared. As Sontag told Nunez, “Who says we have to live like everyone else?”
Sontag’s influence on Nunez, who went on to become a successful novelist, would be profound. Described by Nunez as “a natural mentor” who saw educating others as both a moral obligation and a source of endless pleasure, Sontag inevitably infected those around her with her many cultural and intellectual passions. In this poignant, intimate memoir, Nunez speaks of her gratitude for having had, as an early model, “someone who held such an exalted, unironic view of the writer’s vocation.”
Published more than six years after Sontag’s death, Sempre Susan is a startlingly truthful portrait of this outsized personality, who made being an intellectual a glamorous occupation.
The paths of two women from different walks of life intersect amid counterculture of the 1960s in this haunting and provocative novel from the National Book Award-winning author of The Friend
Named a Best Book of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle and the Christian Science Monitor
Sigrid Nunez's The Last of Her Kind introduces two women who meet as freshmen on the Columbia campus in 1968. Georgette George does not know what to make of her brilliant, idealistic roommate, Ann Drayton, and her obsessive disdain for the ruling class into which she was born. She is mortified by Ann's romanticization of the underprivileged class, which Georgette herself is hoping college will enable her to escape. After the violent fight that ends their friendship, Georgette wants only to forget Ann and to turn her attention to the troubled runaway kid sister who has reappeared after years on the road. Then, in 1976, Ann is convicted of murder. At first, Ann's fate appears to be the inevitable outcome of her belief in the moral imperative to "make justice" in a world where "there are no innocent white people." But, searching for answers to the riddle of this friend of her youth, Georgette finds more complicated and mysterious forces at work.
The novel's narrator Georgette illuminates the terrifying life of this difficult, doomed woman, and in the process discovers how much their early encounter has determined her own path, and why, decades later, as she tells us, "I have never stopped thinking about her."
Una conmovedora novela sobre el dolor y la muerte, y por encima de todo un canto al poder de la amistad.
La narradora de esta historia es alguien que sabe escuchar, porque entiende que todo el mundo necesita ser escuchado, y esa virtud será fundamental en la situación que va a tener que afrontar.
Y es que en el centro de esta novela hay dos amigas. Y una enfermedad. La narradora visita en el hospital a una amiga que padece un cáncer terminal y decide instalarse con ella en su casa para acompañarla en sus últimos días. Las dos conversan, ven películas, leen, recuerdan la infancia, ríen y hablan de sus complicadas y no siempre satisfactorias relaciones personales. Y a medida que se acerca el final de la enferma, las dos mujeres deberán enfrentarse a la decisión que han pactado...
Sigrid Nunez, que ya demostró su inmenso talento para retratar el dolor de la pérdida sin caer en el sentimentalismo tramposo en la estupenda El amigo, vuelve aquí a adentrarse en territorios complejos. Tirando de una gran sutileza, con pinceladas de humor y una enorme capacidad reflexiva, aborda el final de la vida y la asunción de la muerte, y al hacerlo nos regala un libro conmovedor y valiente. Cuál es tu tormento es una novela extraordinaria, pero, por encima de todo, es un homenaje al poder transformador de la empatía y la amistad.
In 1934, a "sickly pathetic marmoset” named Mitz came into the care of Leonard Woolf. After he nursed her back to health, she became a ubiquitous presence in Bloomsbury society. Moving with Leonard and Virginia Woolf between their homes in London and Sussex, she developed her own special relationship with each of them, as well as with their pet cocker spaniels and with various members of the Woolfs’ circle, among them T. S. Eliot and Vita Sackville-West. Mitz also helped the Woolfs escape a close call with Nazis during a trip through Germany just before the outbreak of World War II. Using letters, diaries, memoirs, and other archival documents, Nunez reconstructs Mitz’s life against the background of Bloomsbury’s twilight years. This tender and imaginative mock biography offers a striking look at the lives of writers and artists shadowed by war, death, and mental breakdown, and at the solace and amusement inspired by its tiny subject--and this new edition includes an afterword by Peter Cameron and a never-before-published letter about Mitz by Nigel Nicolson.
“In short, glistening sentences that refract the larger world, Ms. Nunez describes the appealingly eccentric, fiercely intelligent Woolfs during a darkening time.” —The Wall Street Journal
From the National Book Award-winning author of The Friend, one of the most celebrated novelists of her generation, the story of a woman's experiences in the Vietnam War
"After my first book was published, I received some letters." So begins Sigrid Nunez's haunting novel about the poignant and unusual friendship between a writer and a retired army nurse who seeks her out decades after their childhood in the same housing project. Among the letters the narrator receives is one from a Rouenna Zycinski, recalling their old connection and asking if they can meet.Though fascinated by the stories Rouenna tells about her life as a combat nurse in Vietnam, the narrator flatly declines her request that they collaborate on a memoir. It is only later, in the aftermath of Rouenna's shocking death, that the narrator is drawn to write about her friend--and her friend's war. Writing Rouenna's story becomes all-consuming, at once a necessity and the only consolation.
For Rouenna, an unforgettable novel about truth, memory, and unexpected heroism by one of the most gifted writers of her generation, is also a remarkable and surprising new look at war.
“A NOVEL FOR LIFE AFTER THE PANDEMIC…Scratches a particular imaginative itch that we are all experiencing at the precipice of a new era." -- The New Yorker
From the National Book Award-winning author of The Friend comes a moving and eerily relevant novel that imagines the aftermath of a pandemic virus as seen through the eyes of a thirteen-year-old boy uncertain of his destiny.
Grateful for the shelter and love of his foster family (and relieved to have been saved from the horrid, overrun orphanages that have sprung up around the country), Cole begins to form relationships within the larger community. But despite his affection for this place, he struggles with memories of the very different world in which he was reared. Is there room to love both Wyatt and his parents? Are they still his parents if they are no longer there? As others around him grow increasingly fixated on the hope of salvation and the new life to come through the imminent Rapture, Cole begins to conceive of a different future for himself, one in which his own dreams of heroism seem within reach.
Written in Sigrid Nunez's deceptively simple style, Salvation City is a story of love, betrayal, and forgiveness, weaving the deeply affecting story of a young boy's transformation with a profound meditation on the meaning of belief and heroism.
La singular, bellísima y conmovedora historia de la amistad entre una escritora neoyorquina y un perro, con el dolor de la pérdida de fondo.
La protagonista y narradora de esta novela es una escritora neoyorquina que pierde de forma inesperada a su gran amigo y mentor, y de forma no menos inesperada se ve obligada a hacerse cargo de su perro –un enorme y artrítico gran danés–, que se ha quedado solo y traumatizado por la súbita desaparición de su amo. La protagonista no tendrá otro remedio que llevárselo a su minúsculo apartamento, arriesgándose a que la echen porque en el edificio está prohibido tener animales. Y así, con el trasfondo del duelo por el amigo y el amo desaparecido en trágicas circunstancias, se desarrollará la singular y bellísima historia de la amistad entre una escritora solitaria y un perro que se ha quedado sin dueño…
El libro –galardonado con el National Book Award, instantáneo y sorpresivo éxito de ventas y elogiado de forma unánime por la crítica– es, en efecto, una novela, pero en su interior contiene muchos géneros y registros: porque también asoman el diario íntimo; el dietario en el que se suceden las anécdotas literarias y las citas de autores como Virginia Woolf, J. R. Ackerley o Kundera; y la meditación sobre el dolor de la pérdida, el amor, la soledad, la sexualidad, la sociedad contemporánea, la escritura, las mujeres, los hombres y los perros…
Un texto acaso inclasificable que seduce con su diáfana capacidad de abordar con gran sensibilidad temas importantes, con una prosa medida y llena de elegancia. El resultado es deslumbrante y conmovedor, uno de esos raros libros que acompañan al lector para siempre.
Trente ans plus tard, Sigrid Nunez, devenue à son tour une grande écrivaine, livre son témoignage. Elle raconte l’extraordinaire vitalité de Susan, sa curiosité, son énergie inépuisable. Amie et modèle à la fois, Susan est le mentor dont rêve tout apprenti écrivain. Un portrait fin et inattendu, dans l’intimité de l’une des plus audacieuses intellectuelles américaines du XXe siècle.
Corriere della Sera
«Ci vuole qualcosa in più dell'intelligenza per essere capaci di scrivere in modo intelligente. Qualsiasi cosa sia, Sigrid Nunez ce l'ha.»
The New York Times
«Impossible smettere di leggerlo…Denso di arguzia e tenerezza.»
«Sigrid Nunez è al tempo stesso diretta e incredibilmente sottile nel tracciare le scelte che facciamo.»
«Una breve e convincente riflessione sulla vita, sui legami e molto altro. Un libro tanto luminoso quanto profondo.»
The Seattle Times
Una donna racconta diversi incontri che si snodano nella quotidianità della sua vita: un ex in cui si imbatte per caso durante un evento pubblico, un host di Airbnb incerto su come interagire con i propri ospiti, uno sconosciuto che cerca aiuto per confortare l’anziana madre, un’amica di gioventù ricoverata in ospedale con un cancro terminale. In ognuna di queste persone riconosce un bisogno comune: l’urgenza di parlare di sé e di trovare qualcuno cui raccontare la propria esistenza. La narratrice orchestra questo coro di voci come un interlocutore passivo, finché non riceve una richiesta inusuale, che la trascinerà in un’esperienza intensa e di profondo cambiamento. In Attraverso la vita, Nunez combina intelligenza, umorismo e intuito nel descrivere i rapporti umani e la natura mutevole delle relazioni nei nostri tempi. Una storia sorprendente sull’empatia e sui modi insoliti in cui due persone possono offrirsi conforto nell’affrontare le difficoltà. Un ritratto commovente e provocatorio del modo in cui viviamo al giorno d’oggi.