No One Is Talking About This
FINALIST FOR THE 2021 BOOKER PRIZE & A NEW YORK TIMES TOP 10 BOOK OF 2021
WINNER OF THE DYLAN THOMAS PRIZE
“A book that reads like a prose poem, at once sublime, profane, intimate, philosophical, witty and, eventually, deeply moving.” —New York Times Book Review, Editors’ Choice
“Wow. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much reading a book. What an inventive and startling writer…I’m so glad I read this. I really think this book is remarkable.” —David Sedaris
From "a formidably gifted writer" (The New York Times Book Review), a book that asks: Is there life after the internet?
As this urgent, genre-defying book opens, a woman who has recently been elevated to prominence for her social media posts travels around the world to meet her adoring fans. She is overwhelmed by navigating the new language and etiquette of what she terms "the portal," where she grapples with an unshakable conviction that a vast chorus of voices is now dictating her thoughts. When existential threats--from climate change and economic precariousness to the rise of an unnamed dictator and an epidemic of loneliness--begin to loom, she posts her way deeper into the portal's void. An avalanche of images, details, and references accumulate to form a landscape that is post-sense, post-irony, post-everything. "Are we in hell?" the people of the portal ask themselves. "Are we all just going to keep doing this until we die?"
Suddenly, two texts from her mother pierce the fray: "Something has gone wrong," and "How soon can you get here?" As real life and its stakes collide with the increasingly absurd antics of the portal, the woman confronts a world that seems to contain both an abundance of proof that there is goodness, empathy, and justice in the universe, and a deluge of evidence to the contrary.
Fragmentary and omniscient, incisive and sincere, No One Is Talking About This is at once a love letter to the endless scroll and a profound, modern meditation on love, language, and human connection from a singular voice in American literature.
Lockwood's debut novel comes packed with the humor, bawdiness, and lyrical insight that buoyed her memoir Priestdaddy. The unnamed narrator made famous by a viral post that read, "Can a dog be twins" travels the world to speak on panels, where she explains such things as why it's better to use the spelling "sneazing" (it's "objectively funnier"). While in Vienna for a conference, her mother urges her to come home to Ohio, where the narrator's younger sister is having complications with her pregnancy and may need a late-term abortion. There, in the book's shimmering second half, the internet jokes continue between the sisters as a means of coping with uncertainty, and resonate with the theme of life's ephemerality vs. the internet's infinitude. Throughout, a fragmented style captures and sometimes elevates a series of text messages and memes amid the meditations on family ("I'm convinced the world is getting too full lol, her brother texted her, the one who obliterated himself at the end of every day with a personal comet called Fireball"). This mighty novel screams with laughter just as it wallops with grief.