At the center of Francine Prose's profoundly moving new novel is a young girl facing the consequences of sudden loss after the death of her sister. As her parents drift toward their own risky consolations, thirteen-year-old Nico is left alone to grope toward understanding and clarity, falling into a seductive, dangerous relationship with her sister's enigmatic boyfriend.
Over one haunted summer, Nico must face that life-changing moment when children realize their parents can no longer help them. She learns about the power of art, of time and place, the mystery of loss and recovery. But for all the darkness at the novel's heart, the narrative itself is radiant with the lightness of summer and charged by the restless sexual tension of teenage life.
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"Prose eschews her familiar satiric mode. She fluidly maintains Nico's tender insights into the human condition." - Publishers Weekly.
"Starred Review. Though wrapped up a tad too abruptly, this highly accessible novel, lightened with wry humor, is an insightful examination of the various ways people use imagination and memory to cope with devastating loss." - Library Journal.
"Arguably a tad too wistfully meditative, Prose's latest novel nevertheless charms and persuades." - Kirkus Reviews.
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Francine Prose is the author of several novels, non-fiction books, and short story collections. She is a Visiting Professor of Literature at Bard College, and was formerly president of PEN American Center, a New York City-based literary society of writers, editors and translators that works to advance literature, defend free expression, and foster international literary fellowship.
She received the PEN Translation Prize in 1988 and received a Guggenheim fellowship in 1991. Prose's novel The Glorious Ones has been adapted into a musical with the same title. Her more recent works include My New American Life (2011), The Turning (2012) and Lovers at the Chameleon Club (2014).
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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