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The Study of Animal Languages by Lindsay Stern

The Study of Animal Languages

The Study of Animal Languages by Lindsay Stern
Feb 19, 2019 | 240 Pages
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    Feb 19, 2019 | 240 Pages

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    Feb 19, 2019 | 240 Pages

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“Lindsay Stern is an essential new voice in fiction. Her exuberant, wise, and darkly funny first novel grapples with love (romantic and familial), talent, ambition, envy, and the bungled ways we try to connect and care for each other in a world that often defies understanding.” 
—Cynthia d’Aprix Sweeney, New York Times bestselling author of The Nest

“An unabashedly smart philosophical exploration and affecting psychological portrait of the final strains of a marriage. Finely wrought, marvelously dramatic, riveting—a debut of stunning maturity.”
—Ayana Mathis, New York Times bestselling author of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

“Lindsay Stern’s The Study of Animal Languages is so artful and astute, funny and unnerving, too. It brilliantly captures how easily we can mistake our impressions of the world, and the models we make of them, for the world itself. A knockout.”
Paul Harding, author of Tinkers

“A fascinating, original meditation on a human relationship and the non-human world from a very talented new writer. Quietly provocative.”
—Jeff VanderMeer, New York Times bestselling author of The Southern Reach Trilogy

“When it is done well, there is no greater literary pleasure for me than the novel of self-deception. Lindsay Stern calls to mind the sly humor of Ishiguro and Nabokov with The Study of Animal Languages, brought to us by the ambitious but foundering epistemologist Ivan Link. I loved this novel.”
Elizabeth McKenzie, author of The Portable Veblen

“The Study of Animal Languages
is the rare novel of academia that has as much in its heart as it does on its mind. Remarkably lucid and eloquent, it highlights the difficulty of communication not only between species but between individuals. Reading it, you wonder whether, like the birds, we’re all just whistling tunes at each other, but also the opposite—whether, like us, the birds are sharing disquisitions of the soul.”
—Kevin Brockmeier, author of The Brief History of the Dead and A Few Seconds of Radiant Films

“With fearless emotional precision, Lindsay Stern performs a literary hat-trick: The language and philosophical ideas she tenders with acuity here are, in the hands of her stumbling, sharp-elbowed and often misguided characters, woefully inadequate as a means of communication. I’d say that the novel was an auspicious debut if it were not for the fact that Stern seems to have appeared fully formed as a writer, alert to our weaknesses, our moral missteps and the ways in which the mind and the heart so often work at cross-purposes to one another.” 
—Marisa Silver, author of Mary Coin and Little Nothing

“Magnificent . . . Not only will The Study of Animal Languages make a reader’s mind race with fascinating thoughts, but it mesmerizes with addictive storytelling. Lindsay Stern has Nabokov’s trinity of attributes that distinguish the greatest novelists: storyteller, teacher, and enchanter.” 
—Benjamin Hale, author of The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore
“With Ivan as our troubled (and troubling) guide, we ask where all our certainties have gone—those fond ideals we hope to find in love, marriage, and family. A hard question, and yet the beauty and solace of this wonderful novel is that everything is finally affirmed, line by line, in the music of Stern’s lean and lucid prose.”
—Charles D’Ambrosio, author of The Dead Fish Museum and Loitering

“Thought-provoking…A taut, brainy tale that tracks the breakdown of an academic couple’s marriage while dissecting differences between language and communication, knowledge and truth, madness and inspiration.” –Publishers Weekly
“[An] intelligent first novel…The many discussions of communication, animal and human alike, add depth to [Stern’s] depictions of relationships.”Booklist

The Study of Animal Languages is a wise, meditative novel. Though both of the protagonists communicate expertly in their various fields, their dialogue with each other is hopelessly inarticulate, and Stern mines this (and numerous other minutia of love and marriage) with the sure-footed eloquence of an old hand.” —Read It Forward

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