WINNER OF THE 2018 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
ONE OF THE VIEW'S SUMMER READ 2019 PICKS!
"A beautiful book … a world of insight into death, grief, art, and love." —Wall Street Journal
"A penetrating, moving meditation on loss, comfort, memory...Nunez has a wry, withering wit." —NPR
"Dry, allusive and charming…the comedy here writes itself.” The New York Times
A moving story of love, friendship, grief, healing, and the magical bond between a woman and her dog.
When a woman unexpectedly loses her lifelong best friend and mentor, she finds herself burdened with the unwanted dog he has left behind. Her own battle against grief is intensified by the mute suffering of the dog, a huge Great Dane traumatized by the inexplicable disappearance of its master, and by the threat of eviction: dogs are prohibited in her apartment building.
While others worry that grief has made her a victim of magical thinking, the woman refuses to be separated from the dog except for brief periods of time. Isolated from the rest of the world, increasingly obsessed with the dog's care, determined to read its mind and fathom its heart, she comes dangerously close to unraveling. But while troubles abound, rich and surprising rewards lie in store for both of them.
Elegiac and searching, The Friend is both a meditation on loss and a celebration of human-canine devotion.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
After her close friend and former lover commits suicide, an unnamed writer reluctantly takes possession of his aging Great Dane. It sounds like the beginning of a teary “this dog rescued me” story, but Sigrid Nunez’s novel evades any shred of Marley & Me–style sentimentality. Written as a letter to the protagonist’s late friend, The Friend is a meditation on writing as an act of mourning. Peppered with literary references and reflections on grief, it’s equal parts heart-wrenching and heartwarming. If you weren’t a dog person before reading this book, trust us, you will be after.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A wondrous tribute to friendship, how it nourishes us, and how
nothing can fill the void when a much cherished friend departs
Dark an uninspiring...
I Loved This Book
I have a dog. Her name is Olive. She is sleeping at the foot of the bed as I write this. When I finished reading The Friend, my first instinct was to pick her up and hug her, but she was asleep and I did not want to disturb her. I love my dog, but now I love her even more. That is the effect this book has had on me.