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The Friend

A Novel

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.
Rezension
"The contemplation of writing and the loss of integrity in our literary life form the heart of the novel...Nunez's prose itself comforts us. Her confident and direct style uplifts-the music in her sentences, her deep and varied intelligence. She addresses important ideas unpretentiously and offers wisdom for any aspiring writer who, as the narrator fears, may never know this dear, intelligent friend-or this world that is dying. But is it dying? Perhaps. But with The Friend, Nunez provides evidence that, for now, it survives." -The New York Times Book Review

"Charming... the comedy here writes itself... the novel's tone in general, however, is mournful and resonant... The snap of her sentences sometimes puts me in mind of Rachel Cusk." -The New York Times

"In crystalline prose, Nunez creates an impressively controlled portrait of the 'exhaustion of mourning.'" -The New Yorker

"Everywhere in this novel it is impossible to separate love and companionship from loss...The Friend is one of those rare novels that, in the end, makes your heart beat slower." -Los Angeles Review of Books

"A beautiful book ... crammed with a world of insight into death, grief, art, and love." -Wall Street Journal

"A penetrating, moving meditation on loss, comfort, memory, what it means to be a writer today, and various forms of love and friendship... Nunez has a wry, withering wit." -NPR

"The book is an intimate, beautiful thing, deceptively slight at around 200 pages, but humming with insight... [an] artfully discursive meditation on friendship, love, death, solitude, canine companionship and the life of an aging writer in New York. Far from being heavy going, this novel, written as a letter to the late friend, is peppered with wry observations, particularly those of a writer stuck teaching undergraduates." -The Economist

"In this slim but pitch-perfect novel, a writer loses her best friend and mentor suddenly without explanation...Wry and moving, The Friend is a love story, a mania story, and a recovery story." -Vanity Fair

"A poignant reflection on loss and companionship." -Marie Claire

"[A] sneaky gut punch of a novel...a consummate example of the human-animal tale...The Friend's tone is dry, clear, direct-which is the surest way to carry off this sort of close-up study of anguish and attachment." -Harper's Magazine

"A wry riff on Rilke's idea of love as two solitudes that 'protect and border and greet each other.'"-Vogue

"With enormous heart and eloquence, Nunez explores cerebral responses to loss... The Friend exposes an extraordinary reserve of strength waiting to be found in storytelling and unexpected companionship." -Minneapolis Star-Tribune

"Often as funny as it is thoughtful, The Friend is an elegant meditation on grief, friendship, healing, and the bonds between humans and dogs." -Buzzfeed

"A serious book about a big sloppy dog, Nunez's seventh novel... displays the intellectual heft of her late friend's work, but also a distinctive sense of humor and narrative momentum." -Vulture

"A brilliant examination of the writer's life, literary friendship, mortality, bereavement, and our relationship to animals. The novel is not easily summarized; the true rewards of this reading experience are the crystalline prose... Readers will also savor the surprising shifts in narrative focus." -The Rumpus

"An elegant and darkly humorous meditation on grief and companionship, it's a great read - whether or not you're obsessed with canines." -Shondaland.com

"Sigrid Nunez's novel delivers an enthralling, emotional tale." -Paste Magazine

"The Friend is proof that what we lack is itself a vital part of life - and that loss can lead to meaningful connections found in unlikely places. Sometimes it can take an animal to make a person understand their own humanity. And sometimes a book as unexpected as The Friend can provide as much comfort as any canine companion." -B&N Review

"Quietly brilliant and darkly funny..
Portrait
Sigrid Nunez is the author of the novels
Salvation City,
The Last of Her Kind,
A Feather on the Breath of God, and
For Rouenna, among others. She is also the author of
Sempre Susan: A Memoir of Susan Sontag. She has been the recipient of several awards, including a Whiting Award, the Rome Prize in Literature, and a Berlin Prize Fellowship. Nunez lives in New York City.
… weiterlesen
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  • Part One

    During the 1980s, in California, a large number of Cambodian women went to their doctors with the same complaint: they could not see. The women were all war refugees. Before fleeing their homeland, they had witnessed the atrocities for which the Khmer Rouge, which had been in power from 1975 to 1979, was well known. Many of the women had been raped or tortured or otherwise brutalized. Most had seen family members murdered in front of them. One woman, who never again saw her husband and three children after soldiers came and took them away, said that she had lost her sight after having cried every day for four years. She was not the only one who appeared to have cried herself blind. Others suffered from blurred or partial vision, their eyes troubled by shadows and pains.

    The doctors who examined the women-about a hundred and fifty in all-found that their eyes were normal. Further tests showed that their brains were normal as well. If the women were telling the truth-and there were some who doubted this, who thought the women might be malingering because they wanted attention or were hoping to collect disability-the only explanation was psychosomatic blindness.

    In other words, the women's minds, forced to take in so much horror and unable to take more, had managed to turn out the lights.

    This was the last thing you and I talked about while you were still alive. After, only your email with a list of books you thought might be helpful to me in my research. And, because it was the season, best wishes for the new year.

    There were two errors in your obituary. The date you moved from London to New York: off by one year. Misspelling of the maiden name of Wife One. Small errors, which were later corrected, but which we all knew would have annoyed the hell out of you.

    But at your memorial I overheard something that would have amused you:

    I wish I could pray.

    What's stopping you?

    He is.

    Would have, would have. The dead dwell in the conditional, tense of the unreal. But there is also the extraordinary sense that you have become omniscient, that nothing we do or think or feel can be kept from you. The extraordinary sense that you are reading these words, that you know what they'll say even before I write them.

    It's true that if you cry hard enough for long enough you can end up with blurred vision.

    I was lying down, it was the middle of the day, but I was in bed. All the crying had given me a headache, I'd had a throbbing headache for days. I got up and went to look out the window. It was winter yet, it was cold by the window, there was a draft. But it felt good-as it felt good to press my forehead against the icy glass. I kept blinking, but my eyes wouldn't clear. I thought of the women who'd cried themselves blind. I blinked and blinked, fear rising. Then I saw you. You were wearing your brown vintage bomber jacket, the one that was too tight-and looked only better on you for that-and your hair was dark and thick and long. Which is how I knew that we had to be back in time. Way back. Almost thirty years.

    Where were you going? Nowhere in particular. No errand, no appointment. Just strolling along, hands in pockets, savoring the street. It was your thing. If I can't walk, I can't write. You would work in the morning, and at a certain point, which always came, when it seemed you were incapable of writing a simple sentence, you would go out and walk for miles. Cursed were the days when bad weather prevented this (which rarely happened, though, because you didn't mind cold or rain, only a real storm could thwart you). When you came back you would sit down again to work, trying to hold on to the rhythm that had been established while walking. And the better you succeeded at that, the better the writing.

    Because it's all about the rhythm, you said. Good sentences start with a beat.

    You posted an essay, "How to Be a Flâneur," on the custom of urban strolling and loitering and its place in lit
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Beschreibung

Produktdetails

Einband gebundene Ausgabe
Seitenzahl 224
Erscheinungsdatum 06.02.2018
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-0-7352-1944-1
Verlag Penguin LCC US
Maße (L/B/H) 21.1/13.6/2.7 cm
Gewicht 309 g
Verkaufsrang 33594
Buch (gebundene Ausgabe, Englisch)
Buch (gebundene Ausgabe, Englisch)
Fr. 29.90
Fr. 29.90
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