Lucy dives deep into the self-abnegation and ego of Tinder culture and surfaces with overpriced underwear, a merman, and every awful, self-defeating thing you’ve ever said or engaged in to make someone love you. The Pisces is bold, funny, and smart, but Broder’s real accomplishment is this: though you spend the book urging Lucy out of the water, by the end it’s you under the waves, summoning the strength to make it back to land. Recommended By Rhianna W., Powells.com
Melissa Broder's The Pisces was my most anticipated book of 2018, and it was well worth the wait. This is the story of a woman undone, written in precise prose. With an essay collection and multiple poetry books under her belt before publishing this novel, I knew Broder could write, but still her writing shocked and moved me, and the story was both sour and sweet, like the writer herself. Recommended By Erin K., Powells.com
Sometimes I read a book that wrings me out so thoroughly I barely know who I am anymore. It's disturbing and disorienting, and although I'm glad it doesn't happen often, it is one of my very favorite things about reading. I had no idea that The Pisces was going to be one of those books. I was expecting a fluffy summer beach read about a hot merdude, and instead I got this book which absolutely destroyed me. I can't stop thinking about The Pisces; I already want to read it again. Recommended By Ashleigh B., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
"Bold, virtuosic, addictive, erotic – there is nothing like The Pisces. I have no idea how Broder does it, but I loved every dark and sublime page of it." — Stephanie Danler, author of Sweetbitter
Lucy has been writing her dissertation on Sappho for nine years when she and her boyfriend break up in a dramatic flameout. After she bottoms out in Phoenix, her sister in Los Angeles insists Lucy dog-sit for the summer. Annika’s home is a gorgeous glass cube on Venice Beach, but Lucy can find little relief from her anxiety — not in the Greek chorus of women in her love addiction therapy group, not in her frequent Tinder excursions, not even in Dominic the foxhound’s easy affection.
Everything changes when Lucy becomes entranced by an eerily attractive swimmer while sitting alone on the beach rocks one night. But when Lucy learns the truth about his identity, their relationship, and Lucy’s understanding of what love should look like, take a very unexpected turn. A masterful blend of vivid realism and giddy fantasy, pairing hilarious frankness with pulse-racing eroticism, The Pisces is a story about falling in obsessive love with a merman: a figure of Sirenic fantasy whose very existence pushes Lucy to question everything she thought she knew about love, lust, and meaning in the one life we have.
"Bold, virtuosic, addictive, erotic – there is nothing like The Pisces. Between a broken-up Sappho academic and a Venice-beach merman, Melissa Broder miraculously captures everything absurd and pure about falling in love. I have no idea how Broder does it, but I loved every dark and sublime page of it." Stephanie Danler, author of Sweetbitter
"Explosive, erotic, scathingly funny…Its interspecies romantic intrigue buttresses a profound take on connection and longing that digs deep." Entertainment Weekly
"A page turner of a novel…The Pisces is many things: a jaunt in a fabulous voice, a culture critique of Los Angeles, an explicit tour of all kinds of sex (both really good and really bad)…Broder’s voice has a funny, frank Amy Schumer feel to it, injected with moments of a Lydia Davis-type abstraction." The Washington Post
"The dirtiest, most bizarre, most original works of fiction I’ve read in recent memory." Vogue.com
"In recounting one woman’s star-crossed relationship with a folkloric beau, Ms. Broder has crafted a modern-day mythology for women on the verge — if everything on the surface stops making sense, all you need to do is dive deeper." The New York Times
About the Author
Melissa Broder is the author of the essay collection So Sad Today and four poetry collections, including Last Sext. Her poetry has appeared in POETRY, The Iowa Review, Tin House, Guernica, and she is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize. She writes the "So Sad Today" column at Vice, the astrology column for Lenny Letter, and the "Beauty and Death" column on Elle.com. She lives in Los Angeles.
Melissa Broder on PowellsBooks.Blog
My novel, The Pisces
, is the story of a woman who moves to Venice Beach and falls in romantic obsession with a merman whose tail starts below the D. I wanted to explore love as a drug — the urge to annihilate oneself in euphoria — and nothing embodies that dichotomy like the relationship between human and siren...