Next Life Might Be Kinder (Paperback)

By Howard Norman

Mariner Books, 9780544484061, 272pp.

Publication Date: June 9, 2015

June 2014 Indie Next List

“Norman's new novel has the elements that make all of his previous novels so superb: the elegant writing, an omnipresent sense of place, an exploration of love, and the tension of a quiet center punctuated by bursts of violence. The story of Sam Lattimore in the aftermath of his beloved wife's murder is erotically charged, mysterious, and haunting. You shouldn't miss it.”
— Carole Horne, Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, MA
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Norman elegantly crafts a murder story that isn t a mystery; a ghost story without shivers. At its heart, this is a bittersweet love story, about the hole left in a life. Seattle Times

Sam Lattimore meets Elizabeth Church in 1970s Halifax, in an art gallery.Their brief, erotically chargedmarriage is extinguished with Elizabeth's murder. Sam's life afterward is complicated. In a moment of desperate confusion, he sells his life story to a Norwegian filmmaker named Istvakson, known for the stylized violence of his films, whose artistic drive sets in motion an increasingly intense cat-and-mouse game between the two men. Furthermore, Sam has begun seeing Elizabeth not only seeing but holding conversations with her, almost every evening, and what at first seems simply hallucination born of terrible grief reveals itself, evening by evening, as something else entirely.

Beautifully and carefully written and unique, its meaning both elegant and elusive. Ann Beattie

Compelling and satisfying. Howard Norman has written a complex literary novel and a page-turner that's impossible to put down. Minneapolis Star Tribune

Quirky and probing . . . riveting . . . sexy. Washington Post