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Tender

Tender Cover

Tender

By Belinda McKeon

Lee Boudreaux Books, Hardcover, 9780316344326, 416pp.

Publication Date: February 16, 2016

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Description
A Kirkus Best Book of the Year
An Electric Literature Best Book of the Year
A Lithub Best Book of the Year

A searing novel about longing, intimacy and obsession from the award-winning author of Solace.
When they meet in Dublin in the late nineties, Catherine and James become close as two friends can be. She is a sheltered college student, he an adventurous, charismatic young artist. In a city brimming with possibilities, he spurs her to take life on with gusto. But as Catherine opens herself to new experiences, James's life becomes a prison; as changed as the new Ireland may be, it is still not a place in which he feels able to truly be himself. Catherine, grateful to James and worried for him, desperately wants to help--but as time moves on, and as life begins to take the friends in difference directions, she discovers that there is a perilously fine line between helping someone and hurting him further. When crisis hits, Catherine finds herself at the mercy of feelings she cannot control, leading her to jeopardize all she holds dear.
By turns exhilarating and devastating, Tender is a dazzling exploration of human relationships, of the lies we tell ourselves and the lies we are taught to tell. It is the story of first love and lost innocence, of discovery and betrayal. A tense high-wire act with keen psychological insights, this daring novel confirms Belinda McKeon as a major voice in contemporary fiction, joining the ranks of the masterful Edna O'Brien and Anne Enright.


About the Author
Belinda McKeon's debut novel, Solace, won the 2012 Faber Prize, was voted Irish Book of the Year, and was shortlisted for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Her essays and journalism have been published in The Paris Review, the New York Times, the Guardian, and elsewhere. She has had plays produced in Dublin and New York, and is under commission to the Abbey Theatre. McKeon was a nominee for the inaugural Laureate for Irish Fiction post. She lives in Brooklyn and teaches at Rutgers University.


NPR
Sunday, Feb 21, 2016

Adolescence is a time when "friendship feels like something you die for," says Irish author Belinda McKeon. It's how she explains the characters in her new novel "Tender" to NPR's Rachel Martin. More at NPR.org

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