Synopses & Reviews
For readers of Sally Rooney, Rachel Cusk, Lydia Davis, and Jenny Offill — a compact tour de force about sex, violence, and self-loathing from a ferociously talented new voice in fiction
Miranda Popkey's first novel is about desire, disgust, motherhood, loneliness, art, pain, feminism, anger, envy, guilt — written in language that sizzles with intelligence and eroticism. The novel is composed almost exclusively of conversations between women — the stories they tell each other, and the stories they tell themselves, about shame and love, infidelity and self-sabotage — and careens through twenty years in the life of an unnamed narrator hungry for experience and bent on upending her life. Edgy, wry, shot through with rage and despair, Topics of Conversation introduces an audacious and immensely gifted new novelist.
"A book of ideas — about power and gender, about desire, about loneliness and rage — but it is also, at its core, a novel about storytelling, about the quest for a stable narrative that can explain us to others and to ourselves...A rich and rigorous dissection of how we construct who we are." Kirkus Reviews
"Icily intelligent....The questions it asks are about how women make sense — or don't, or can't — of the ways they've been limited, controlled and intoxicated by male standards of desire, make reading "Topics of Conversation" as thrilling as being told a secret." The San Francisco Chronicle
"Electrifying... Shrewd and sensual, Popkey's debut carries the scintillating charge of a long-overdue girls' night."
O, The Oprah Magazine
"Masterfully controlled, delightfully chilly"
The Boston Globe
About the Author
MIRANDA POPKEY was born in Santa Cruz, California in 1987. She graduated with a BA in Humanities from Yale in 2009 and with an MFA in Creative Writing from Washington University in St. Louis in 2018. She has written for, among other outlets, The New Republic, The New Yorker's Page-Turner blog, the Paris Review Daily, The Hairpin, The Awl, GQ, and New York magazine's The Cut.