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Winner of the National Book Award: A Novel of Fame, Honor, and Really Bad Weatherby Jincy Willett
Synopses & Reviews
Winner of the National Book Award, the long-awaited novel from the author of the acclaimed collection, Jenny and the Jaws of Life, is an unusual and wonderful novel that is somehow able to be at once bleak and hilarious, light-hearted and profound.
It's the story of two sisters. Abigail Mather is a woman of enormous appetites, sexual and otherwise. Her fraternal twin Dorcas couldn't be more different: she gave up on sex without once trying it, and she lives a controlled, dignified life of the mind. Though Abigail exasperates Dorcas, the two love each other; in fact, they complete each other. They are an odd pair, set down in an odd Rhode Island town, where everyone has a story to tell, and writers, both published and unpublished, carom off each other like billiard balls.
What is it that makes the two women targets for the new man in town, the charming schlockmeister Conrad Lowe, tall, whippet-thin and predatory? In Abigail and Dorcas he sees a new and tantalizing challenge. Not the mere conquest of Abigail, with her easy reputation, but a longer and more sinister game. A game that will lead to betrayal, shame and, ultimately, murder.
In her darkly comic and unsettling first novel, Jincy Willett proves that she is a true find: that rare writer who can explore the shadowy side of human nature with the lightest of touches.
"Audaciously titled, cleverly constructed, Winner of the National Book Award is an elegy wrapped inside a satire, a sorrowful meditation on the mysteries of sibling love and rivalry concealed within a bitterly funny chronicle of literary buffoonery. Jincy Willett is a fearless writer, capable of startling the reader into rueful laughter at every turn." Tom Perrotta, author of Joe College
"'A well-wrought piece of fiction,' the heroine of this novel declares, 'helps us make sense out of the chaos of our lives. Why be deliberately obscure when real life is so impossibly fractured and opaque?' Well, exactly. How rarely the knacks for wisdom and for cracking wise come in one single, satisfying package. (Also, who knew Rhode Island could be so entertaining?) So: hurrah for Jincy Willett, and for her funny, charming, humane, and altogether well-wrought piece of fiction." Kurt Andersen, author of Turn of the Century
The long-awaited novel from the author of the acclaimed collection Jenny and the Jaws of Life. Abigail Mather was always a woman of enormous appetites, sexual and otherwise. Her twin, Dorcas, couldn't be more different: she gave up on sex without even trying it, and she lives a controlled, dignified life. The sisters love each other, in fact, they complete each other. Both eccentric, they fit, somehow into their New England community. What is it that makes the two women targets for the new man in town, the poet Conrad Lowe, tall, whippet-thin and predatory? In Abigail and Dorcas he sees a new and tantalizing challenge. Not for him the simple conquest of Abigail, with her easy reputation, but a longer and more sinister game. A game that will lead to betrayal, shame and, ultimately, murder. In her darkly comic and unsettling first novel, Jincy Willett explores the darker side of human nature with the lightest of touches. She is a writer of astonishing power and talent, and her book is truly unforgettable.
Set in Rhode Island, Winner of the National Book Award tells the story of twins who could not be more different. Abigail Mather is a woman of passionate sensual and sexual appetites, while her sister, the book loving local librarian Dorcas, lives a quiet life of the mind. But when the sisters are sought out by the predatory and famous poet, Guy DeVilbiss, who introduces them to Hollywood hack writer and possible psychopath Conrad Lowe, they rapidly become pawns in a game that leads to betrayal, shame and ultimately, murder.
Darkly comic and satirical, Jincy Willett's Winner of the National Book Award is unnervingly funny and disarmingly tender whether she is writing about sex, literary delusion or Yankee pretension.
About the Author
Jincy Willett is a writer and editor based in San Diego, CA. Her short stories have appeared in Playgirl, The Yale Review, and the Massachusetts Review.
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