What Are You Going Through
Coming from Riverhead Books / September 8, 2020
A woman describes a series of encounters she has with various people in the ordinary course of her life. Some, like the old friend she goes to visit at a cancer clinic, are people she knows well; others are total strangers. All share a need to talk about themselves. The narrator orchestrates this chorus of voices, sometimes paraphrasing others’ stories, other times allowing them to speak, in extended monologues, for themselves. What emerges is a portrait of the way we live now, in a world endlessly troubled by crises, and the dramatically changing nature of human relationships in our time. For the most part, the narrator assumes the role of a passive listener to her collective storytellers. Then one of them surprises her with an extraordinary request, and she is drawn into what will become an intense and transformative experience of her own.
You can preorder Sigrid’s new novel now.
Winner of the 2018 National Book Award
When a woman unexpectedly loses a lifelong friend and mentor to suicide, 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 that had been devoted to its suddenly vanished master, and by the threat of eviction: dogs are prohibited in her apartment building. Elegiac and searching, The Friend is both a meditation on friendship, loss, and bereavement and a celebration of the wonder and healing power of the human-canine bond.
“The intensity and elegance of The Friend mean two things: you cannot put it down and you will cry. In a novel about loss and the loneliness of writing and imagination, Sigrid Nunez creates an irresistible tale of love and an unforgettable Great Dane. A beautiful, beautiful book — the most original canine love story since My Dog Tulip.” — Cathleen Schine, bestselling author of They May Not Mean To, But They Do
A New York Times Bestseller
An Indie National Bestseller
Read a profile of Sigrid in The New York Times
Finalist for the 2019 Simpson/Joyce Carol Oates Prize
Longlisted in the category of foreign fiction for the 2019 Prix Femina and named a finalist for the 2019 Prix du Meilleure Livre
Longlisted for the 2020 International Dublin Literary Award
A New York Times Notable Book of 2018
A New York Times Critics’ Top Book of 2018
A New York Public Library Best Book of 2018
An NPR Best Book of 2018
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2018
A Financial Times 2018 Best Book: Critics’ Pick
A Paris Review Staff Favorite Book of 2018
A Top Five Fiction Choice of The Sunday Times (UK)
A Vogue Editors’ Best Book of 2018
A BuzzFeed Best Book of 2018 & December Book Club Pick
A Bustle Best Fiction Book of 2018
A Lit Hub Favorite Book of 2018
The Bark Magazine’s Best Fiction Book of 2018
An Electric Lit Best Book of 2018
A Town and Country Best Book of 2018
Sigrid Nunez has published seven novels, including A Feather on the Breath of God, The Last of Her Kind, Salvation City, and, most recently, The Friend. She is also the author of Sempre Susan: A Memoir of Susan Sontag. The Friend, a New York Times bestseller, won the 2018 National Book Award and was a finalist for the 2019 Simpson/Joyce Carol Oates Prize. In France, it was longlisted for the 2019 Prix Femina and named a finalist for the 2019 Prix du Meilleure Livre. It has also been longlisted for the 2020 International Dublin Literary Award. Nunez’s other honors and awards include a Whiting Writer’s Award, a Berlin Prize Fellowship, the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award, the Rome Prize in Literature, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Among the journals to which she has contributed are The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, The Paris Review, Threepenny Review, Harper’s, McSweeney’s, Tin House, The Believer and newyorker.com. Her work has also appeared in several anthologies, including four Pushcart Prize volumes and four anthologies of Asian-American literature. One of her short stories was selected for The Best American Short Stories 2019. Her work either has been or is being translated into more than twenty languages.