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The Fates Will Find Their Wayby Hannah Pittard
Told through melodic, purposeful prose from a first-person-plural perspective, Hannah Pittard's stunning debut novel is an eerie, perfectly pitched recounting of adolescence that skillfully captures the blurred line between the tangible and the imagined. Keep an eye on this writer.
Synopses & Reviews
Sixteen-year-old Nora Lindell is missing. And the neighborhood boys she left behind are caught forever in the heady current of her absence.
As the days and years pile up, the mystery of her disappearance grows kaleidoscopically. A collection of rumors, divergent suspicions, and tantalizing what ifs, Nora Lindell's story is a shadowy projection of teenage lust, friendship, reverence, and regret, captured magically in the disembodied plural voice of the boys who still long for her.
Told in haunting, percussive prose, Hannah Pittard's beautifully crafted story tracks the emotional progress of the sister Nora left behind, the other families in their leafy suburban enclave, and the individual fates of the boys in her thrall. Far more eager to imagine Nora's fate than to scrutinize their own, the boys sleepwalk into an adulthood of jobs, marriages, families, homes, and daughters of their own, all the while pining for a girl — and a life — that no longer exists, except in the imagination.
A masterful literary debut that shines a light into the dream-filled space between childhood and all that follows, The Fates Will Find Their Way is a story about the stories we tell ourselves — of who we once were and might someday become.
"Pittard leads the reader into a slew of possibilities spinning out from a 16-year-old girl's disappearance, in her intriguing, beguiling debut. After Nora Lindell goes missing on Halloween, stories about her disappearance multiply: she got into a car with an unknown man, she was seen at the airport, she simply walked away, she was abducted. Pittard dips into the points-of-view of various classmates to explore these possibilities and more. Perhaps Nora was murdered. One theory sends her to Arizona, where she raises twin daughters with a lover named Mundo, and another path leads her to a near-death experience in a cafe bombing in India. The story also outlines effects of the disappearance on Nora's family and classmates, who, even as they graduate, marry, and have children, never quite let go of Nora — possibly to avoid their own lives. Though the truth about Nora remains tantalizingly elusive — the reader is never quite sure what happened — the many possibilities are so captivating, and Pittard's prose so eloquent, that there's a far richer experience to be had in the chain of maybes and what-ifs than in nailing down the truth. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"A debut novel sure to linger with readers...Though relatively brief, the novel has great depth, enhanced by Pittard’s precision of language. The result is a stimulating examination of loss, memory, history, and perception and how the past never leaves — indeed is the main factor in the present." Publishers Weekly, Galley Talk
"The Fates Will Find Their Way is a bold, wise, magical, and authentic novel about youthful infatuation and its legacy. Hannah Pittard’s beautifully confident prose is sure to make readers look back on their own teenage years with fresh wonder." Vendela Vida
"The tension builds throughout the book, keeping the reader eager to find out what happened... This debut from McSweeney's award winner Pittard is smart, eerie, and suspenseful and will appeal to fans of novels combining those elements." Bloomberg News
"The Fates Will Find Their Way is...about the way our imaginations can carry us from a dispiriting selfishness to a nascent empathy, and the way we continue to inflict — or even just observe — pain until that empathy arrives." Library Journal
Reminiscent of The Virgin Suicides, an eerily evocative and masterfully crafted literary debut about a teenage girl who goes missing and the effect her disappearance has on the boys she grew up with
“A bold, wise, magical, and authentic novel about youthful infatuation and its legacy. Hannah Pittards beautifully confident prose is sure to make readers look back on their own teenage years with fresh wonder.”
Already acclaimed for her short fiction—a McSweeneys Amanda Davis Highwire Fiction Award winner whose work was selected by Salman Rushdie for inclusion in 2008 Best American Short Stories 100 Distinguished Stories—Hannah Pittard proves herself a master of long form fiction as well with her haunting, masterfully crafted debut novel, The Fates Will Find Their Way. A powerful and beautiful literary masterwork reminiscent of The Virgin Suicides, Pittards The Fates Will Find Their Way tells the unforgettable story of a teenaged girl gone missing, and the boys she grew up with who find themselves caught in the mysterious wake of her absence for the rest of their lives.
About the Author
Hannah Pittard’s fiction has appeared in McSweeney's, The Oxford American, The Mississippi Review, BOMB, Nimrod, StoryQuarterly, and was included in the 2008 Best American Short Stories' 100 Distinguished Stories. She is the recipient of the 2006 Amanda Davis Highwire Fiction Award, and has taught fiction at the University of Virginia, where she was also a Henry Hoyns Fellow.
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