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The Friend

The Friend by Sigrid Nunez
Feb 06, 2018 | 224 Pages
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    Feb 06, 2018 | 224 Pages

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    Feb 06, 2018 | 224 Pages

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“Charming… the comedy here writes itself… the novel’s tone in general, however, is mournful and resonant… The snap of her sentences sometimes puts me in mind of Rachel Cusk.” —The New York Times

“The book is an intimate, beautiful thing, deceptively slight at around 200 pages, but humming with insight… [an] artfully discursive meditation on friendship, love, death, solitude, canine companionship and the life of an aging writer in New York. Far from being heavy going, this novel, written as a letter to the late friend, is peppered with wry observations, particularly those of a writer stuck teaching undergraduates.” –The Economist

“A penetrating, moving meditation on loss, comfort, memory, what it means to be a writer today, and various forms of love and friendship… Nunez has a wry, withering wit.” —NPR

In this slim but pitch-perfect novel, a writer loses her best friend and mentor suddenly without explanation…Wry and moving, The Friend is a love story, a mania story, and a recovery story.” —Vanity Fair

“A poignant reflection on loss and companionship.” —Marie Claire

“[A] sneaky gut punch of a novel…a consummate example of the human-animal tale…The Friend’s tone is dry, clear, direct—which is the surest way to carry off this sort of close-up study of anguish and attachment.” —Harper’s Magazine

“A wry riff on Rilke’s idea of love as two solitudes that ‘protect and border and greet each other.’”—Vogue

“With enormous heart and eloquence, Nunez explores cerebral responses to loss… The Friend exposes an extraordinary reserve of strength waiting to be found in storytelling and unexpected companionship.” —Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“Often as funny as it is thoughtful, The Friend is an elegant meditation on grief, friendship, healing, and the bonds between humans and dogs.” —Buzzfeed

“A serious book about a big sloppy dog, Nunez’s seventh novel… displays the intellectual heft of her late friend’s work, but also a distinctive sense of humor and narrative momentum.” Vulture

“A brilliant examination of the writer’s life, literary friendship, mortality, bereavement, and our relationship to animals. The novel is not easily summarized; the true rewards of this reading experience are the crystalline prose… Readers will also savor the surprising shifts in narrative focus.” —The Rumpus

“An elegant and darkly humorous meditation on grief and companionship, it’s a great read — whether or not you’re obsessed with canines.” —

“Sigrid Nunez’s novel delivers an enthralling, emotional tale.” —Paste Magazine

The Friend is proof that what we lack is itself a vital part of life — and that loss can lead to meaningful connections found in unlikely places. Sometimes it can take an animal to make a person understand their own humanity. And sometimes a book as unexpected as The Friend can provide as much comfort as any canine companion.” —B&N Review

“Quietly brilliant and darkly funny… [The Friend is] rigorous and stark, so elegant—so dismissive of conventional notions of plot—it hardly feels like fiction. Breathtaking both in pain and in beauty; a singular book.” —Kirkus, starred review

“Riveting… This elegant novel explores both rich memories and day-to-day mundanity, reflecting the way that, especially in grief, the past is often more vibrant than the present.” —Publishers Weekly

“Light, musing, curious, and somehow wonderfully sturdy.” –Vivian Gornick for Bookforum

“Brilliant but informal, sad yet laugh-out-loud funny… This beautiful, spare, work will not disappoint.” –Bookpage

“Nunez offers an often-hilarious, always-penetrating look at writing, grief, and the companionship of dogs.” —Booklist

“The joys of this novel lie in Nunez’s striking capacity to describe the world and its inhabitants, both human and animal. Nunez is a keen observer of behavior, and throughout the text she plants wonderful nuggets that immediately ring true yet still manage to be surprising.” —Michigan Daily

“This is a slow, poignant meditation on grief, rife with pithy literary myths and quotations… Literature nerds, creative writing students, and dog lovers will find this work delightful. Recommended for literary fiction collections.” —Library Journal 
“Nunez’s story of a dog and his inadvertent caregiver is a darkly humorous and unsentimental tale of friendship, mourning, and solace.”—Electric Lit

“The intensity and elegance of The Friend mean two things—you cannot put it down and you will cry. In a novel about loss and the loneliness of writing and imagination, Sigrid Nunez creates an irresistible tale of love and an unforgettable Great Dane. A beautiful, beautiful book—the most original canine love story since My Dog Tulip.” —Cathleen Schine, bestselling author of They May Not Mean To, But They Do

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