Books by Lily Tuck

HEATHCLIFF REDUX by Lily Tuck
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 4, 2020

"Lean, intriguing, formally innovative prose that will satisfy some readers while leaving others hungry for meatier plots."
National Book Award winner Tuck (The Double Life of Liliane, 2015, etc.) turns her attention to Emily Brontë's gothic, psychologically riveting Wuthering Heights in Heathcliff Redux, the novella at the center of this collection. Read full book review >
SISTERS by Lily Tuck
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 5, 2017

"Masterfully detailed and elegant in all its parts but ultimately a novel that prioritizes the virtuoso skill of its narration at the cost of a hastily staged conclusion."
In her signature crisp, exacting prose, Tuck's (The Double Life of Liliane, 2015, etc.) seventh novel haunts the territory of marital jealously with delicacy and finesse. Read full book review >
THE DOUBLE LIFE OF LILIANE by Lily Tuck
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"Metafiction that pleases and frustrates in equal measure."
A ton of factual information complements the fiction in National Book Award winner (The News From Paraguay, 2004) Tuck's sixth novel, a family history in mosaic form. Read full book review >
THE HOUSE AT BELLE FONTAINE by Lily Tuck
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 7, 2013

"Impressive work from a virtuoso."
Death haunts this dark collection of 10 stories from Tuck (I Married You for Happiness, 2011, etc.). Read full book review >
I MARRIED YOU FOR HAPPINESS by Lily Tuck
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2011

"Does the couple's mutual happiness provide a Hegelian synthesis? Not quite, though Tuck's crisp writing is a joy. "
Using shards of memory, Tuck creates the portrait of a marriage in her latest, following the NBA winner The News from Paraguay (2004, etc.). Read full book review >
WOMAN OF ROME by Lily Tuck
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 1, 2008

"Lucid and intelligent, but perhaps a little too low-key."
From National Book Award-winning novelist Tuck (The News from Paraguay, 2004, etc.), a concise biography of the Italian writer whose fiction explored the power of make-believe and the delusions by which people live. Read full book review >
THE NEWS FROM PARAGUAY by Lily Tuck
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 4, 2004

"A splendid realization of its rich subject, and Tuck's best so far."
The notorious Irish courtesan who also inspired Anne Enright's The Pleasure of Eliza Lynch presides regally over Tuck's impressively researched, lushly written latest. Read full book review >
LIMBO, AND OTHER PLACES I HAVE LIVED by Lily Tuck
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 4, 2002

"Published previously in the New Yorker and elsewhere, tales that will seem more empty to some than to others."
Fourteen stories from Tuck (Siam, 1999; The Woman Who Walked on Water, 1996) aim often at intricacy in design but bear the stamp of the mass-produced. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 15, 1999

For her third outing, Tuck (The Woman Who Walked on Water, 1996, etc.) goes to Thailand with a young American couple, both shallow enough to frustrate the reader as much as fulfill the otherwise often witty story they're a part of. On their wedding night in 1967, James and Claire fly to Bangkok, where James works for JUSMAAG (Joint United States Military Assistance Advisory Group) building airstrips in the jungle at Nakhan Phanom. When he's away doing this, the highly intelligent but excruciatingly inert Claire tries to busy herself with training the household servants (the young man Prachi must keep leaves out of the swimming pool), reading Thai history, going on tours with other JUSMAAG wives, taking language lessons—and obsessing about what really happened to Jim Thompson, the 61-year-old American silk zillionaire who now, just days after having James and Claire as dinner guests at his palatial house, has disappeared without a trace, said by some to be lost in the jungle, by others to have been snatched by the communists, and thought by Claire herself (though not until story's end) to have been kidnaped by the Americans themselves for some invidious reason vaguely connected with the growing war next door in Vietnam. As he has from page one, her new husband and egregious male chauvinist pig James denigrates and belittles this and any other ideas that Claire may have'so that her paranoia-cum-truth only festers in her own mental hothouse. Since not much more happens (aside from the event telegraphed by the book's subtitle—though even why that happens will puzzle the thoughtful), readers are left with little more than exotic atmosphere—which Tuck excels at, as she does also at Third World squalor—and a building sense of the portentous without any final payoff. Deft, incisive, colorful, but by and large a tale only of echoes. Read full book review >
THE WOMAN WHO WALKED ON WATER by Lily Tuck
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 5, 1996

Mesmerizing in its simplicity, this second novel from Tuck (Interviewing Matisse, or, the Woman Who Died Standing Up, 1991) lyrically traces one woman's search for spiritual enlightenment and self-fulfillment—or at least for a life away from suburban Connecticut. Reminiscent of Alan Lightman's Einstein's Dreams, the story is broken into 76 slim, self-contained, dreamlike chapters. Each of these, randomly strung together, builds an engrossing portrait of Adele—a shining star of a woman, so charming and admirable that she draws everyone into her orbit. Her defining feature (and Tuck's recurring theme, repeated in a series of mystic tales on the requirements needed to walk on water) is her courage in the ocean: Bystanders gawk as Adele and her three Irish setters swim out so far they're transformed into dots on the horizon. The narrator is an unnamed friend, an annual companion at the exclusive Caribbean resort Adele and her family frequent, an unabashed admirer of Adele's near-mythic personalty. She pieces together the story of their friendship, of Adele's past, and, most importantly, of Adele's scandalous decision to leave her relatively happy life with husband and two children to follow an Indian guru she meets while vacationing in France. In an attempt to get her home from India, Adele's husband, Howard, promises her a solitary trip to the Caribbean to think things over, sending her dogs down for swimming companionship. It's there that Adele tells about her strange adventures of self-abnegation with the guru, her thinning body and graying hair, and, stranger still, her inability to leave His presence. As each passage shifts into the next, explanations are expected for Adele's abandonment of home and hearth. Instead of answers, though, there come parables of enlightenment that, finally, make a far stronger case for Adele's submission to the guru than any stubbornness or weakness of will. An exquisite, gem-like treatise on the nature of illumination- -a case study of metamorphosis. Read full book review >