A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice A WALL STREET JOURNAL AND VOGUE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK OF 2020 "A triumph of tone and intelligence. Percy Q's perspective is skewed and searching at once, and through her eyes, we see afresh not only New York's post-9/11 landscape but also the world of art, and love, and the process of becoming." —Rivka Galchen, author of Atmospheric Disturbances Percy is pregnant. She hasn’t told a soul. Probably she should tell her husband—certainly she means to—but one night she wakes up to find she no longer recognizes him. Now, instead of sleeping, Percy is spending her nights taking walks through her neighborhood, all the while fretting over her marriage, her impending motherhood, and the sinister ways the city is changing. Amid this alienation—from her husband, home, and rapidly changing body—a package arrives. In it: an exhibition catalog for a photography show. The photographs consist of a series of digitally manipulated images of a woman lying on a bed in a red room. It takes a moment for even Percy to notice that the woman is herself . . . but no one else sees the resemblance. Percy must now come to grips with the fundamental question of identity in the digital age: To what extent do we own our own image, and to what extent is that image shaped by the eyes of others? Capturing perfectly the haunted atmosphere of Manhattan immediately after 9/11—and the simmering insanity of America ever since—Jessi Jezewska Stevens's The Exhibition of Persephone Q is a darkly witty satire about how easy it is to lose ownership of our own selves.
“A Horse at Night is like light from a candle in the evening: intimate, pleasurable, full of wonder. It asks us to consider fiction as life and life as fiction. Amina Cain is our generous, gentle guide through an exquisite library. A truly beautiful book.” —Ayşegül Savaş “I adore her work, and sensibility,” writes Claire-Louise Bennett of Amina Cain; and Jenny Offill: “Cain writes beautiful precise sentences about what it means to wander through this luminous world.” Cain’s unique wandering sensibility, her attention to the small and the surprising, finds a profound new expression in her first nonfiction book, a sustained meditation on writers and their work. Driven by primary questions of authenticity and freedom in the shadow of ecological and social collapse, Cain moves associatively through a personal canon of authors— including Marguerite Duras, Elena Ferrante, Renee Gladman, and Virginia Woolf— and topics as timely and various as female friendships, zazen meditation, neighborhood coyotes, landscape painting, book titles, and the politics of excess. A Horse at Night: On Writing is an intimate reckoning with the contemporary moment, and a quietly brilliant contribution to the lineage of Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own or Gass’s On Being Blue, books that are virtuosic arguments for—and beautiful demonstrations of—the essential unity of writing and life.