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NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT THIS

An insightful—frequently funny, often devastating—meditation on human existence online and off.

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Debut novel from the internet-famous poet and author of the memoir Priestdaddy (2017).

Lockwood first made a name for herself on Twitter: “@parisreview So is Paris any good or not.” Such was the acclaim of this 2013 tweet that the Paris Review felt compelled to respond to it—a year after it was first posted—with a review of Paris. In 2013, Lockwood achieved a new level of web-based fame when “Rape Joke” went viral. This poem seems, in retrospect, to have been perfectly calibrated for a moment when people—mostly young or youngish, largely online—were asking themselves who gets to talk about what and how. But it also succeeds—and continues to succeed—as a work of literature. All of this is to say that Lockwood is very much of the internet but also, perhaps, our guide to moving beyond thinking of the internet as a thing apart from real lives and real art. Her debut novel is divided into two parts. The first introduces us to a nameless protagonist who makes up famous tweets and composes blog posts and turns this into a career traveling the world talking about tweets and blog posts. In the second part, this character goes back to her family home when she learns that the baby her sister is carrying has a profound congenital disorder. The first part is written in short little bursts that feel like Instagram captions or texts—but if Lydia Davis was writing Instagram captions and texts. The second part is written in short little bursts that feel like they’re being written in spare moments snatched while caring for an infant. (Again, Lydia Davis comes to mind.) This bifurcation mirrors the protagonist’s own meditations on the difference between the life that she chooses online and the life that comes crashing in on her, but it’s a mistake to imagine that this novel is simply an indictment of the former and a celebration of the latter. The woman at the center of this novel doesn’t trade ironic laughter for soul-shattering awe so much as she reveals that both can coexist in the same life and that, sometimes, they may be indistinguishable.

An insightful—frequently funny, often devastating—meditation on human existence online and off.

Pub Date: Feb. 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-18958-0

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Riverhead

Review Posted Online: Nov. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2020

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THE WOMEN

A dramatic, vividly detailed reconstruction of a little-known aspect of the Vietnam War.

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A young woman’s experience as a nurse in Vietnam casts a deep shadow over her life.

When we learn that the farewell party in the opening scene is for Frances “Frankie” McGrath’s older brother—“a golden boy, a wild child who could make the hardest heart soften”—who is leaving to serve in Vietnam in 1966, we feel pretty certain that poor Finley McGrath is marked for death. Still, it’s a surprise when the fateful doorbell rings less than 20 pages later. His death inspires his sister to enlist as an Army nurse, and this turn of events is just the beginning of a roller coaster of a plot that’s impressive and engrossing if at times a bit formulaic. Hannah renders the experiences of the young women who served in Vietnam in all-encompassing detail. The first half of the book, set in gore-drenched hospital wards, mildewed dorm rooms, and boozy officers’ clubs, is an exciting read, tracking the transformation of virginal, uptight Frankie into a crack surgical nurse and woman of the world. Her tensely platonic romance with a married surgeon ends when his broken, unbreathing body is airlifted out by helicopter; she throws her pent-up passion into a wild affair with a soldier who happens to be her dead brother’s best friend. In the second part of the book, after the war, Frankie seems to experience every possible bad break. A drawback of the story is that none of the secondary characters in her life are fully three-dimensional: Her dismissive, chauvinistic father and tight-lipped, pill-popping mother, her fellow nurses, and her various love interests are more plot devices than people. You’ll wish you could have gone to Vegas and placed a bet on the ending—while it’s against all the odds, you’ll see it coming from a mile away.

A dramatic, vividly detailed reconstruction of a little-known aspect of the Vietnam War.

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2024

ISBN: 9781250178633

Page Count: 480

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2023

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HOME IS WHERE THE BODIES ARE

Answers are hard to come by in this twisting tale designed to trick and delight.

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Three siblings on very different paths learn that their family home may be haunted by secrets.

Eldest daughter Beth is alone with her fading mother as she takes her final breath and says something about Beth’s long-departed brother and sister, who may not have disappeared forever. Beth is still reeling from the loss of her mother when her estranged siblings show up. Michael, the youngest, hasn’t been home since their father’s disappearance seven years ago. In the meantime, he’s outgrown his siblings, trading his share of the family troubles for a high-paying job in San Jose. Nicole, the middle child, has been overpowered by addiction and prioritized tuning out reality over any sense of responsibility, much to Beth’s disgust. Though their mother’s death marks an ending for the family, it’s also a beginning, as the three siblings realize when they find a disturbing videotape among their parents’ belongings. The video, from 1999, sheds suspicion on their father’s disappearance, linking it to a long-unsolved neighborhood mystery. Was it just a series of unfortunate circumstances that broke the family apart, or does something more sinister underlie the sadness they’ve all found in life? In chapters that rotate among the family’s first-person narratives, the siblings take turns digging up stories and secrets in their search for solace.

Answers are hard to come by in this twisting tale designed to trick and delight.

Pub Date: April 30, 2024

ISBN: 9798212182843

Page Count: 270

Publisher: Blackstone

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2024

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