The Nobodies Album

By Carolyn Parkhurst
(Doubleday, Hardcover, 9780385527699, 320pp.)

Publication Date: June 15, 2010

List Price: $25.95*
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the July 2010 Indie Next List
“Octavia Frost is a woman trying to rewrite her past by rewriting the last chapters of her very autobiographical works of fiction. When her estranged son Milo is accused of murder and she goes to be with him, Octavia finds that the wounds of the past can be revisited, and perhaps even be healed, but they cannot be made to never have existed at all. If you've never read Carolyn Parkhurst this is an excellent place to start.”
-- Jessie Martin, Nicola's Books, Ann Arbor, MI


From the bestselling author of The Dogs of Babel comes a dazzling literary mystery about the lengths to which some people will go to rewrite their past.

Bestselling novelist Octavia Frost has just completed her latest book—a revolutionary novel in which she has rewritten the last chapters of all her previous books, removing clues about her personal life concealed within, especially a horrific tragedy that befell her family years ago.

On her way to deliver the manuscript to her editor, Octavia reads a news crawl in Times Square and learns that her rock-star son, Milo, has been arrested for murder. Though she and Milo haven’t spoken in years—an estrangement stemming from that tragic day—she drops everything to go to him.

The “last chapters” of Octavia’s novel are layered throughout The Nobodies  Album—the scattered puzzle pieces to her and Milo’s dark and troubled past. Did she drive her son to murder? Did Milo murder anyone at all? And what exactly happened all those years ago? As the novel builds to a stunning reveal, Octavia must consider how this story will come to a close.

Universally praised for her candid explorations of the human psyche, Parkhurst delivers an emotionally gripping and resonant mystery about a mother and her son, and about the possibility that one can never truly know another person.

About the Author

CAROLYN PARKHURST is the author of the bestselling novels The Dogs of Babel and Lost and Found. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and their two children.

Conversation Starters from


  1. Milo invented the concept of a “nobodies album” of nonexistent songs when he was four.  What does this phrase eventually mean for his mother? How do they both use creativity to address their pain? What recurring threads are woven throughout Milo’s lyrics and Octavia’s fiction?

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