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"I loved this book not just from the first chapter or the first page but from the first paragraph... The voice is just so honest and riveting and insightful about creativity and life." —Curtis Sittenfeld
#ReadWithJenna Book Club Pick as Featured on Today
Emma Roberts Belletrist Book Club Pick
A New York Times Book Review’s Group Text Selection
An extraordinary new novel of art, love, and ambition from Lily King, the New York Times bestselling author of Euphoria
Following the breakout success of her critically acclaimed and award-winning novel Euphoria, Lily King returns with another instant New York Times bestseller: an unforgettable portrait of an artist as a young woman.
Blindsided by her mother’s sudden death, and wrecked by a recent love affair, Casey Peabody has arrived in Massachusetts in the summer of 1997 without a plan. Her mail consists of wedding invitations and final notices from debt collectors. A former child golf prodigy, she now waits tables in Harvard Square and rents a tiny, moldy room at the side of a garage where she works on the novel she’s been writing for six years. At thirty-one, Casey is still clutching onto something nearly all her old friends have let go of: the determination to live a creative life. When she falls for two very different men at the same time, her world fractures even more. Casey’s fight to fulfill her creative ambitions and balance the conflicting demands of art and life is challenged in ways that push her to the brink.
Writers & Lovers follows Casey—a smart and achingly vulnerable protagonist—in the last days of a long youth, a time when every element of her life comes to a crisis. Written with King’s trademark humor, heart, and intelligence, Writers & Lovers is a transfixing novel that explores the terrifying and exhilarating leap between the end of one phase of life and the beginning of another.
King's, elegant, droll follow-up to Euphoria traces an aspiring novelist's effort to find herself after turning 30 and losing her mother. After a series of lovers and moves, Casey Peabody ends up alone in Boston, Mass., with nothing to hold onto. Her commitment to writing each morning keeps her at a dead-end waitressing job that barely covers her grungy rented room and the minimum payments for the massive debt she incurred for her undergraduate and graduate degrees. Her devastating grief for her mother, whose unexplained death occurred while vacationing abroad, can only be assuaged, she feels, by finishing the novel she's been working on for six years ("I don't write because I think I have something to say. I write because if I don't, everything feels even worse"). She begins dating the successful writer Oscar Kolton, as well as one of his students, and finds new inspiration in the romances ("Usually a man in my life slows my work down, but it turns out two men give me fresh energy"). Facing the impending loss of her apartment, she fears that living with one of her lovers would expose her "blighted" dysfunction. While King's resolutions of Casey's financial, emotional, and creative challenges don't feel uniformly convincing, the nimble, astute narration appeals. This meditation on the passing of youth is touching and ruefully funny.