Click to receive personalized book recommendations daily.
Check Out These
21 Books You’ve Been Meaning to Read
See the List

Those Who Knew

Those Who Knew by Idra Novey
Nov 06, 2018 | 256 Pages
See All Formats (2) +
  • Hardcover $26.00

    Nov 06, 2018 | 256 Pages

  • Ebook $12.99

    Nov 06, 2018 | 256 Pages

Buy the Audiobook Download:

Product Details


Named a must-read book by * The Washington Post * O, The Oprah Magazine * Entertainment Weekly * New York Magazine * Vulture * TIME * BBC * Nylon * Refinery29 * The Huffington Post * New York Observer * The Millions * Poets & Writers * The Rumpus * LitHub * Bustle * Read It Forward * MyDomaine * Dandelion Chandelier * 

An American Booksellers Association Indie Next Pick

“By turns brutal, funny, and tender . . . During what are arguably our own Terrible Years, with truth and justice blurred nearly every day, Those Who Knew is as urgent as a ticking time bomb.”
—O, The Oprah Magazine

“There’s timely and then there’s timely. In this prescient novel, a powerful, corrupt senator may finally atone for his crimes when a woman close to him winds up dead. But who can bring him down?”
—Entertainment Weekly

“Novey—a poet and translator as well as a novelist—is a skillful wordsmith with descriptions that are poetic yet never overwrought . . . Those Who Knew is not only an important book about silence and its consequences, but also a sheer pleasure to read.”
—The Washington Post

“The explosive novel everyone should be reading this fall.”  
—New York Observer

“A bold and timely novel.”

“Compelling . . . Novey, a writer, poet and translator, began work on the book long before the #MeToo movement, but her examination of power, misogyny, and complicity often feels uncannily salient.”
—The Wall Street Journal

“In this provocative, beautifully written novel, Idra Novey explores timely issues—the cost of speaking up versus the cost of staying silent—with an insight and clarity that are altogether timeless.”

“This timely thriller examines the power influential men hold over women.”

Those Who Knew is the book you need in a culture that routinely hears—and ignores—public figures’ historical treatment of women. In addition to being timely, it’s simply superb.” 

“Utterly, painfully, of our time . . . Novey reveals the extent of our connections to one another, and the true reach of a person’s actions—how they can ripple out so much farther than they’d imagined.”

Those Who Knew is engaging and elusive . . . It’s a dreamy, enchanting, and sometimes terrifying novel about resistance, long-held traumas, and identity.”

“The second novel by the poet-translator, whose debut, Ways to Disappear, put her on a short list of boundary-busting young mystery authors, works in a dash of dystopia, untangling the dark history of a progressive senator ten years after the fall of a dictatorship.” 
New York

“Propulsive . . . chillingly timely.”

“Almost exactly a year after the Me Too floodgates opened, this novel takes a closer look at the fallout of a powerful figure’s abuse.”
Huffington Post

“Poet-turned-novelist Idra Novey’s new book is set on an unnamed island country 10 years after the collapse of a U.S.-supported regime. Lena suspects that a powerful senator she used to be involved with is taking advantage of another young woman—and when that woman turns up dead, Lena must revisit her turbulent relationship with the senator.”

“One of the most poignant books published this year, Idra Novey’s Those Who Knew traces the crimes committed by a powerful man in a time of political upheaval on a fictional island that feels all too real. Named a must-read book by the likes of VultureHuffPost, and O, the Oprah MagazineThose Who Knew undoubtedly belongs on your bookshelf this season.”

“From the award-winning author of Ways to Disappear (a smart novel we absolutely love) comes a new tale about what a powerful politician thinks he can get away with, and the group of misfits who finally bring him down. . . . An exploration of the cost of staying silent and the mixed rewards of speaking up in a profoundly divided country.”
—Dandelion Chandelier

Those Who Knew speaks with uncommon prescience to the swirl around us. Novey writes, with acuity and depth, about questions of silence, power, and complicity. The universe she has created is imagined, and all too real.” 
—Rebecca Traister, author of All the Single Ladies

“There’s an urgent timeliness to this story of the crimes committed by a powerful man, but Idra Novey’s riveting, formally brilliant novel transcends any particular moment. Those Who Knew is a devastating inquiry into the way lofty ideals can serve as cover for brutal impulses, the way struggles for control of the body politic wreak havoc on actual bodies. Most of all, it’s an indictment, at once fierce and compassionate, of the collective silence that implicates us all in irrevocable wrongs.”
—Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You
“Genius. That’s what I kept thinking as I read this novel that somehow combines an invented island, a political bookstore, fragments of a stage production, and a story that’s at once a damning critique of craven self-interest and a tale about our inescapable connectedness. Idra Novey has written an irreverent, magical, perfect puzzle of a book.”
—Cristina Henriquez, author of The Book of Unknown Americans
Those Who Knew is a beautiful novel about that which we cannot deny, in ourselves or others, and the price we are too often willing to pay for what we think is like freedom.”
—Alexander Chee, author of Queen of the Night

“Novey’s writing is so singularly vibrant . . . Dreamy and jarring and exceedingly topical.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Propulsive . . . Novey’s storytelling is taut and her diction sharp . . . The book [has a] striking sense of momentum. Add in a slight and intriguing sense of the supernatural, and the result is a provocative novel that has the feel of a thriller.”
Publishers Weekly

“The personal is political in this new novel from Novey. . . . By concentrating on the interconnected and very personal stories of each [character], Novey negotiates the surreal reality of an aging port city that is both victim and beneficiary of globalization. . . . Highly recommended.”
—Library Journal

“Riveting . . . Novey’s prescient novel explores the cost of speaking up—and the sometimes larger cost of staying silent.”

“Tight and captivating . . . Novey exercises her considerable talents in crafting lush, riveting threads, which she braids into a spectacular crime novel.”
Shelf Awareness

“Novey creates a landscape in which her characters may represent, or sometimes hide, their nation, class, or station in life. Yet her women overcome such barriers and join together, revealing what they know in order to effect change . . . a modern parable.”

Looking for More Great Reads?
Download our Spring Fiction Sampler Now
Back to Top