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Sight by Jessie Greengrass
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Sight by Jessie Greengrass
Aug 21, 2018 | ISBN 9780525574620

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  • Aug 21, 2018 | ISBN 9780525574620

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  • Aug 21, 2018 | ISBN 9781984828019

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‘A dazzling obsessive entry in a burgeoning genre. Unusual and absorbing… it is [the narrator’s] obsessive ruminations, and how they find expression in controlled, stylish prose, that make the book so exciting. Her intelligence and honesty continue to dazzle, and the novel as a whole exudes a strange consoling power.’ The New Yorker

delves into a lot in under 200 pages: Mothers and daughters, birth and death, loss and grief, finding one’s balance, the ardor and arduousness of scientific discovery. But it is also a book about the limits of knowledge – learning to accept them, yet continuously pushing to expand their boundaries. Readers willing to give themselves over to Greengrass’ penetrating vision will surely expand theirs.’ – NPR

‘[A book about] how to survive one’s own parentage and one’s own mind, and the way those two projects are connected — with how meaning and understanding can be reached, and at what cost, in life or in art, or in science.’ –Harpers

‘A brilliant and meditative piece of art.
The deceptively simple story, that of a daughter losing a mother, and the same daughter becoming a mother, weaves effortlessly, organically, elliptically, in with the history of science. Greengrass stuns the reader with her intellect and grace, with her uncanny ability to turn a story into many, and many into one.’ – Weike Wang, author of Chemistry 

‘One of the finest contemporary English novels I’ve read. Elegant and intelligent, troubling and serious… exquisitely well-assembled.’ – Max Porter, author of Grief Is the Thing with Feathers

I read Sight with so much ache and admiration. In many ways Greengrass reminds me of Virginia Woolf — in her intelligence and scope of interest, and in her evocative ability to capture a single consciousness, all while seemingly re-inventing the novel form. Sight is a beautiful debut, and Greengrass is an important new voice in fiction.’ – Jamie Quatro, author of Fire Sermon

I wanted to read this book as slowly as I could, underlining every sentence, inhaling it in small sips – and to press it into the hands of every woman, mother, and daughter I know.’ – Nadja Spielgelman, author of I’m Supposed to Protect You From All This

‘Such a finely-wrought novel, written with brilliant assurance, clarity, and depth, Sight is a masterpiece of restraint and intensity.  It does justice to the wild mysteries and complexities at the heart of what it means to be human, and to live in this world.’ – Elisa Albert, author of After Birth

‘A stunning debut novel, about what we can know of our bodies, ourselves, and each other. Greengrass has captured the experience of pregnancy and motherhood like no one else.’ – Lauren Elkin, author of Flâneuse

‘I honestly can’t remember the last time I read a novel so near to perfection, so full of grace. With every page I was in awe of the author’s sense of pace, her attention to nuance, the acuity of feeling and clarity of reflection’ –Sara Baume, author of Spill Simmer Falter Wither

‘In a culture that downplays and refuses to listen to women’s pain, Sight finds a way to extract our attention… The redemption is all in the remarkable beauty and gravity of the prose. This is a quiet and authentic resistance, requiring us to bear with a woman’s pain all the way through.’ – BOMB Magazine

‘With visceral, elegantly wrought truths of life and loss, this is an exciting companion to Sheila Heti’s recent Motherhood (2018).’ Booklist

‘Greengrass writes with precision and honesty, providing an unconventional but nuanced, meditative experience.’ – Publisher’s Weekly

‘Jessie Greengrass has found a remarkable way to make us think about…body and being, image and idea’ – Lavinia Greenlaw

‘Unflinchingly focused on life and death, love and loss, [Sight] is a densely packed collection of clearly articulated insights on the struggle to bridge the gaps between ourselves and those to whom we yearn to be close, our efforts to define and take full measure of ourselves. It is novel as excavation. Greengrass digs deep below the surface to explore the human condition and presents the reader with unearthed truths to ponder and pocket.’ – Kirkus

‘[An] assured first novel.’  – Library Journal, Best Books of Summer & Fall 2018 

‘The poise, intelligence and serious intent of Sight will be lauded, and rightly so. I would not be surprised to see it on heavyweight prize lists.’ – The Sunday (UK)
‘As a meditation on parenthood, grief and the awareness that knowledge can be both wondrous and terrifying… an exceptionally accomplished debut.’ – Observer
‘Greengrass’s fiercely cerebral despatch from one of life’s most extraordinary rites of passage impresses linguistically, intellectually and emotionally.’ – The Mail on Sunday (UK)
‘A most unusual debut… fiercely intelligent and always probing… accomplished and melancholic.’
 – Irish Times (UK)
‘Exceptional… The prose is unsentimental, measured, breathtaking in its elegance, but never precious or mannered…. Sentences move with extraordinary cadence towards devastatingly bathetic or utterly heartbreaking conclusions. [It is a book about] the ongoing and ever-unfinished coming into being of a person. It brings all these things together, loosely and delicately, in a way that is unexpectedly and remarkably moving.’ – The Spectator
‘[An] outstanding first noel. Jessie Greengrass’s masterfully interwoven tales of discovery both personal and medical are ‘prayer(s) to understanding’, attempts to render accessible the uncharted regions of the self.’ – TLS

‘A cabinet of curiosities… [a] strange, affecting poem of a book.’ New Statesman
‘This is a first novel – an original one by a writer who clearly has considerable gifts and a serious, nuanced approach to individual psychology and intellectual history.’ – Financial Times
‘Cerebral and tender, Greengrass’ voice is smart and original’ – Elle
‘Remarkable and affecting’ – Literary Review
‘It’s hard not to be blown away by the sheer brilliance of the work and her ability as a wordsmith.’  – Storgy
‘Written in gorgeous, crystalline prose, Sight is a moving exploration of perception and wonder.’
‘Beautiful to read…wise and insightful…completely compelling’ – Monocle
‘This singularly introspective book is a stimulating read about motherhood and the disconnect within ourselves. Add snippets of Freud’s development of psychoanalysis and his relationship with his daughter and you get a spectacularly written novel.’ –Book Riot

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