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Cover for This Book Will Save Your Life

This Book Will Save Your Life

A Novel

A.M. Homes

Paperback

List Price: 16.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Other Editions of This Title:
Digital Audiobook (10/31/2007)
Compact Disc (4/20/2006)

Description

Since her debut in 1989, A. M. Homes, author of the forthcoming novel The Unfolding, has been among the boldest and most original voices of her generation, acclaimed for the psychological accuracy and unnerving emotional intensity of her storytelling. Her ability to explore how extraordinary the ordinary can be is at the heart of her touching and funny new novel, her first in six years. This Book Will Save Your Life is a vivid, uplifting, and revealing story about compassion, transformation, and what can happen if you are willing to lose yourself and open up to the world around you.


Praise For This Book Will Save Your Life: A Novel

THIS BOOK WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE

“Homes’ dark delivery . . . is in full regalia here. . . . Laugh-out loud funny.” --The Boston Globe

“An absolute masterpiece . . . Homes writes ecstatically, and like no one else.” --The Philadelphia Inquirer

“I think this brave story of a lost man’s reconnection with the world could become a generational touchstone, like Catch-22, The Monkey Wrench Gang, or The Catcher in the Rye. . . . And hey, maybe it will save somebody’s life.” --Stephen King

Hilarious . . . Homes writes in the tradition of Kurt Vonnegut and has the talent to pull it off.” --San Francisco Chronicle

DAYS OF AWE

“A.M. Homes skillfully circles and tugs at the question of what it means to live in flawed, fragile, hungry human bodies . . . DAYS OF AWE is sliced through with Homes’s dark humor . . . one wants to read passages of a Homes story aloud because they are so fine . . . DAYS OF AWE feels like the part of the day when the sun is about to go down and the light is brighter while the shadows are darker. Everything has a sharp edge, is strikingly beautiful and suddenly also a little menacing.” —Ramona Ausubel, The New York Times Book Review

“Exuberantly transgressive.” —O, the Oprah Magazine

“[Homes] has shown a unique penchant for cracking open the dark heart of human nature — with irreverent wit, devastating empathy and haunting shocks . . . DAYS OF AWE [is] a memorable assortment of new tales about family, love, death, and an unqualified man who somehow stumbles into becoming a populist political candidate.” —Mary Elizabeth Williams, Salon

“Homes’s keen ear for speech—surreal as her characters’ conversations often are—lends itself to varying degrees of self-aware misunderstanding, highlighting the complexity of language and the challenges . . . The impossibility of knowing another person completely is one of life’s painful truths, and [this] collection remind us of that—but [it] also shows that there are, at least, tools available to help us try.” Vanity Fair

“Fascinating . . . I consumed these stories exactly like a spectator of a good fight or a neighbor peering through the hedge, and I felt sharply observed in turn. Homes, with her fierce sharp wit, reveals her characters’ deep flaws. No one gets away with anything and the spectacle is delightful.” —Molly Livingston, The Paris Review Daily

"With dark humor and sharp dialogue, Homes plumbs the depths of everyday American anxieties through stories about unexpected situations." Time

“In the title story, a Holocaust survivor taps into a theme of the collection when he describes the way people hold the history of previous generations inside them. ‘We carry it with us, not just in our grandmother’s silver,’ he says, ‘but in our bodies, the cells of our hearts.’” Wall Street Journal

“Versatile and imaginative, Homes bring her literary daring and prowess . . . to short stories . . . In her third provocative story collection, she displays her command of the viciously realistic and the pointedly surreal, the comic and the tragic. A master of honed dialogue—play-like in their momentum, many of these tales have an Edward Albee aura—Homes is also potently visual and acknowledges artists who inspire her . . . [It] is the searing precision of her language and her profound and thorny concerns that infuse these unpredictable tales with their unnerving power . . . Virtuoso Homes, aligned with Grace Paley, Joy Williams, and Lydia Millet, is fierce, witty, defining, and compassionate. ” — Booklist, Starred Review

“With her signature humor and compassion, A.M. Homes exposes the heart of an uneasy America in her new collection – exploring our attachments to each other through characters who aren’t quite who they hoped to become, though there is no one else they can be.” Chicago Review of Books

MAY WE BE FORGIVEN

Winner of the 2013 Women's Prize for Fiction

“An entertaining, old-fashioned American story about second chances…A.M. Homes is a writer I’ll pretty much follow anywhere because she’s indeed so smart, it’s scary; yet she’s not without heart…May We Be Forgiven [is] deeply imbued with the kind of It’s A Wonderful Life-type belief in redemption that we Americans will always be suckers for, and rightly so.” —Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air

“Cheever country with a black comedy upgrade…Homes crams a tremendous amount of ambition into May We Be Forgiven, with its dark humor, its careening plot, its sex-strewn suburb and a massive cast of memorable characters...its riskiest content, however, is something different: sentiment.  This is a Tin Man story, in which the zoned-out Harry slowly grows a heart.” —Carolyn Kellogg, The Los Angeles Times

“Darkly funny…the moments shared between this ad hoc family are the novel’s most endearing…Homes’ signature trait is a fearless inclination to torment her characters and render their failures, believing that the reader is sophisticated enough – and forgiving enough – to tag along.”  —Katie Arnold-Ratliff, Time Magazine

“Homes, whose masterful handling of suburban dystopia merits her own adjective, may have just written her midcareer magnum opus with this portrait of a flawed Nixonian bent on some sort of emotional amnesty.” —Christopher Bollen, Interview

“At once tender and uproariously funny…one of the strangest, most miraculous journeys in recent fiction, not unlike a man swimming home to his lonely house, one swimming pool at a time:  it is an act of desperation turned into one of grace.” —John Freeman, The Cleveland Plain Dealer

“A big American story with big American themes, the saga of the triumph of a new kind of self-invented nuclear family over cynicism, apathy, loneliness, greed, and technological tyranny…this novel has a strong moral core, neither didactic nor judgmental, that holds out the possibility of redemption through connection.”  –Kate Christensen, Elle

“A.M. Homes has long been one of our most important and original writers of fiction. May We Be Forgiven is her most ambitious as well as her most accessible novel to date; sex and violence invade the routines of suburban domestic life in a way that reminded me of The World According to Garp, although in the end it’s a thoroughly original work of imagination.” –Jay McInerney, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Life

“I started this book in the A.M., finished in the P.M., and couldn’t sleep all night. Ms. Homes just gets better and better.” —Gary Shteyngart, New York Times bestselling author of Our Country Friends

“What if whoever wrote the story of Job had a sense of humor? Nixon is pondered. One character donates her organs.  Another tries to grow a heart.  A seductive minefield of a novel from A.M. Homes.” —John Sayles, author of A Moment in the Sun

“I started reading A.M. Homes twenty years ago. Wild and funny, questioning and true, she is a writer to go travelling with on the journey called life.” —Jeanette Winterson, New York Times bestselling author of Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?DAYS OF AWE

“A.M. Homes skillfully circles and tugs at the question of what it means to live in flawed, fragile, hungry human bodies . . . DAYS OF AWE is sliced through with Homes’s dark humor . . . one wants to read passages of a Homes story aloud because they are so fine . . . DAYS OF AWE feels like the part of the day when the sun is about to go down and the light is brighter while the shadows are darker. Everything has a sharp edge, is strikingly beautiful and suddenly also a little menacing.” —Ramona Ausubel, The New York Times Book Review

“Exuberantly transgressive.” —O, the Oprah Magazine

“[Homes] has shown a unique penchant for cracking open the dark heart of human nature — with irreverent wit, devastating empathy and haunting shocks . . . DAYS OF AWE [is] a memorable assortment of new tales about family, love, death, and an unqualified man who somehow stumbles into becoming a populist political candidate.” —Mary Elizabeth Williams, Salon

“Homes’s keen ear for speech—surreal as her characters’ conversations often are—lends itself to varying degrees of self-aware misunderstanding, highlighting the complexity of language and the challenges . . . The impossibility of knowing another person completely is one of life’s painful truths, and [this] collection remind us of that—but [it] also shows that there are, at least, tools available to help us try.” —Vanity Fair

“Fascinating . . . I consumed these stories exactly like a spectator of a good fight or a neighbor peering through the hedge, and I felt sharply observed in turn. Homes, with her fierce sharp wit, reveals her characters’ deep flaws. No one gets away with anything and the spectacle is delightful.” —Molly Livingston, The Paris Review Daily

"With dark humor and sharp dialogue, Homes plumbs the depths of everyday American anxieties through stories about unexpected situations." —Time

“In the title story, a Holocaust survivor taps into a theme of the collection when he describes the way people hold the history of previous generations inside them. ‘We carry it with us, not just in our grandmother’s silver,’ he says, ‘but in our bodies, the cells of our hearts.’” —Wall Street Journal

THE MISTRESS' DAUGHTER

"A compelling, devastating, and furiously good book written with an honesty few of us would risk." --Zadie Smith

"Fierce and eloquent." --The New York Times Book Review

"As startling and riveting as her fiction . . . a lacerating memoir in which the formerly powerless child triumphs with the help of a mighty pen." --San Francisco Chronicle

"Rich in humanity and humor . . . Homes combines an unfussy candor with a deliciously droll, quirky wit. . . . Her energy and urgency become infectious." --USA Today

"I fell in love with it from the first page and read compulsively to the end." --Amy Tan

"As a memoirist, A.M. Homes takes a characteristically fierce and fearless approach. And she has a whopper of a personal story to tell." --Chicago Tribune
 
IN A COUNTRY OF MOTHERS

"Homes...has the ability to scare you half to death....[She is] devastating...a very dangerous writer." —Washington Post Book World

"A commanding narrative...by turns witty and unnerving, and at times almost unbearable in its emotional intensity.” —Wall Street Journal

"Intriguing...captures a world spinning out of control....Homes is at her best evoking the pathos and obsession at the center of relationships between therapist and patient, mother and child, husband and wife. She is also wickedly funny. [This is] a psychologically gripping story.” —San Francisco Chronicle
 
THE SAFETY OF OBJECTS

“Enthralling . . . full of subversive humor and truth . . . original and stiletto sharp.”  —The Washington Post

“Wonderfully skewed stories . . . sharp, funny, and playful . . . Homes is confident and consistent in her odd departures from life as we know it, sustaining credibility by getting details right. A fully engaged imagination [is] at work—and play.” —Amy Hempel, The Los Angeles Times

“Alarmingly good . . . It is hard to say exactly who Homes’s predecessors are—Roald Dahl, Rachel Ingalls, and J.D. Salinger all come to mind—but in many ways she is not unlike Cheever.” —The Village Voice

“These stories are remarkable. They are awesomely well-written. In the sense of arousing fear and wonder in the reader they entertain, but what they principally bring us is a sense of recognition . . . Here are all the things that even today, even in our frank outspoken times, we don’t talk about. We think of them punishingly in sleepless nights.” Ruth Rendell

“An unnerving glimpse through the windows of other people’s lives. A.M. Homes is a provocative and eloquent writer, and her vision of the way we live now is anything but safe.” —Meg Wolitzer

THE UNFOLDING

Fortchoming September 2022

"From her first book onward, A.M. Homes has been challenging us to look at fiction, the world, and one other as we haven’t done—because we haven’t had the nerve, the eyes, the dire and dispassionate imagination. Gripping, sad, funny, by turns aching and antic and, as always, exceedingly well-observed and written, The Unfolding opens up another one of her jagged windows, at times indistinguishable from a crack, in the world that is always unfolding, and always vanishing, around us. " -- Michael Chabon, bestselling and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Moonglow and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

“A terrific black comedy, written almost entirely in pitch-perfect dialogue, that feels terrifying close to the unfunny truth.” -- Salman Rushdie, New York Times bestselling author of The Golden House and Quichotte

"
A dazzling portrait of a family—and a country—in flux. A story about what happens when truths that once seemed self-evident turn out to be neither self-evident nor even true. A.M. Homes has perfectly captured an America as it lurches toward freak-out, and a family as it shreds the lies it’s been living by. The Unfolding is hilarious and shocking and heartbreaking and just a little bit deranged—in other words, it’s a book that feels like what it feels like to be alive right now." --Nathan Hill, author of The Nix

Penguin Books, 9780143038740, 384pp.

Publication Date: April 3, 2007



About the Author

A.M. Homes was born in Washington D.C. graduated from Sarah Lawrence College and the University of Iowa, lives in New York City and teaches at Princeton University. Her work appears in ArtForum, Granta, The Guardian, McSweeney’s, Modern Painters, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Electric Literature, Playboy, and Zoetrope. She works in television, most recently as as Co-Executive Producer of Falling Water and Stephen King’s Mr. Mercedes, and is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair. She is the  recipient of awards including the Guggenheim, NEA, and NYFA fellowships. Her most recent novel, May We Be Forgiven, won the Women’s Prize for Fiction, 2013, and has been optioned for film by Unanimous Entertainment.