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Blue Ruin: Book summary and reviews of Blue Ruin by Hari Kunzru

Blue Ruin

A Novel

by Hari Kunzru

Blue Ruin by Hari Kunzru X
Blue Ruin by Hari Kunzru
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  • Published May 2024
    272 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

From one of the sharpest voices in fiction today, a profound and enthralling novel about beauty and power, capital, art and those who devote their lives to creating it

Once, Jay was an artist. After graduating from art school in London, he was tipped for greatness, a promising career taking shape before him. That was not to happen. Now, undocumented in the United States, having survived Covid, he lives out of his car and barely makes a living as an essential worker, delivering groceries in a wealthy area of upstate New York. One day, as Jay attempts to make a delivery at a house surrounded by acres of woods, he is confronted by his destructive past: Alice, a former lover from his art school days, and the friend she left him for. Recognizing Jay's dire circumstances, Alice invites him to stay on their property—where an erratic gallery owner and his girlfriend are isolating as well—setting in motion a reckoning that has been decades in the making.

Gripping and brilliantly orchestrated, Blue Ruin moves back and forth through time, delivering an extraordinary portrait of an artist as he reunites with his past and confronts the world he once loved and left behind.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"A lively, ever-intensifying story of race, immigration, work, and what it means to earn a living ... [Blue Ruin is] a darkly ironic tale of two bubbles—an art world divorced from economic reality and a Covid era that segregated us from society ... A dark, smart, provocative tale of the perils of art making." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Kunzru takes on the excessive and rapacious tendencies of the art world in his dazzling latest ... [Blue Ruin] is immensely satisfying." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Exquisite writing and keen insights into class tensions and creative dilemmas. Kunzru affirms that it's always a good time to live an examined life, even during a pandemic." —Booklist (starred review)

"Brilliant...Coincidence is a dangerous narrative tool to mess around with, but Kunzru pulls it off in Blue Ruin thanks to the subtle characterizations and intricate layers with which he expands his premise...an exceptional work that finds new variations on the familiar chestnut that people aren't always what they seem." —BookPage (starred review)

"Kunzru's [Blue Ruin] is a triumph of beauty and a true ode to the artist." —Oprah Daily, "Most Anticipated Books of 2024"

"[Blue Ruin] promises to be harrowing and darkly funny. Kunzru has a knack for the nightmarish present, and few things feel more nightmarish than a forced confrontation with the past in the early stages of the pandemic." —Lit Hub, "Most Anticipated Books of 2024"

"I read everything Hari Kunzru writes, for my highest pleasure and my deepest sustenance." —Rachel Kushner

This information about Blue Ruin was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Hari Kunzru Author Biography

Hari Kunzru is the author of seven novels, Red Pill, White Tears, Gods Without Men, My Revolutions, Transmission, The Impressionist and Blue Ruin. He is a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books and writes the "Easy Chair" column for Harper's Magazine. He is an Honorary Fellow of Wadham College Oxford, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and has been a Cullman Fellow at the New York Public Library, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a Fellow of the American Academy in Berlin. He teaches in the Creative Writing Program at New York University and is the host of the podcast Into the Zone, from Pushkin Industries. He lives in Brooklyn.

Author Interview
Link to Hari Kunzru's Website

Name Pronunciation
Hari Kunzru: HAR-ee KUNE-zroo

Other books by Hari Kunzru at BookBrowse
  • The Impressionist jacket

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