Sometimes the sexual predator in your midst isn't the obviously entitled alpha male but the “sensitive” beta who acts like he's on your side because he actually believes it himself. The only problem is when you fail to recognize as much, you must be blamed and punished. Nails the toxic masculinity of 2017. Recommended By Jason C., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
“Powerful.” — Maureen Corrigan, NPR’s Fresh Air
Named a best book of the year by NPR, Kirkus Reviews, and BookPage • One of the most anticipated novels of the fall from New York magazine, Glamour, Lit Hub, Boston magazine, The Millions, and BookPage
David Federman has never felt appreciated. An academically gifted yet painfully forgettable member of his New Jersey high school class, the withdrawn, mild-mannered freshman arrives at Harvard fully expecting to be embraced by a new tribe of high-achieving peers. Initially, however, his social prospects seem unlikely to change, sentencing him to a lifetime of anonymity.
Then he meets Veronica Morgan Wells. Struck by her beauty, wit, and sophisticated Manhattan upbringing, David becomes instantly infatuated. Determined to win her attention and an invite into her glamorous world, he begins compromising his moral standards for this one, great shot at happiness. But both Veronica and David, it turns out, are not exactly as they seem.
Loner turns the traditional campus novel on its head as it explores ambition, class, and gender politics. It is a stunning and timely literary achievement from one of the rising stars of American fiction.
"Like a novel of manners distorted by a twisted funhouse mirror, Teddy Wayne’s Loner moves with wit and stealth and merciless deliberation towards increasingly brutal psychic terrain. Reading it, I found myself amused and then — with creeping force — afraid, repulsed, and ultimately unwilling to put it down." Leslie Jamison, New York Times bestselling author of The Empathy Exams and The Gin Closet
"Loner moves ahead to its climax (and a superbly executed plot twist) with the sickening momentum of a horror movie...It stands in stark contrast to Mr. Wayne’s previous novel, The Love Song of Jonny Valentine (2013), a funny, sympathetic portrait of a teenybopper pop star. The range shown in these two books, which move from the ridiculous to the chilling, is evidence of a rising talent." The Wall Street Journal
"Wayne has created a uniquely terrifying and compelling protagonist for such a funny book...the best second-person novel I've read since Sam Lipsyte's Homeland...a great, lethal little book." The Boston Globe
"An impressively creepy novel of first love...At a moment when so many young writers want to join the ranks of the angels, Wayne’s unfashionable wit, bitterness, and tight focus are a gift." Lorin Stein, The Paris Review
"Teddy Wayne has an uncanny ability to teleport to another location and inhabit the people who live there...Dark and compulsively readable...Wayne skillfully shows us every disturbing and obsessive moment...a tightly written, tensely memorable short novel." Meg Wolitzer, NPR's Best Books of the Year
About the Author
Teddy Wayne, the author of Loner, The Love Song of Jonny Valentine, and Kapitoil, is the winner of a Whiting Writers’ Award and an NEA Fellowship as well as a finalist for the Young Lions Fiction Award, PEN/Bingham Prize, and Dayton Literary Peace Prize. He writes regularly for The New Yorker, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, McSweeney’s, and elsewhere. He lives in New York.