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Cover for Look at Us

Look at Us

T. L. Toma

Paperback

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Description

“Charged with erotic intensity. . . . Toma draws his world with Cheeverian nuance and flair; he’s deeply insightful about the new American culture of ‘watchers’—but to me his greatest skill is his ability to summon pure terror.” —George Dawes Green, author of The Caveman’s Valentine, The Juror, and Ravens

Look at Us is a scrupulous dissection of a contemporary marriage in mortal peril. It’s also a wild ride of a novel, gorgeously written, by turns comic, lyrical, elegiac, disturbing, and profound. I couldn’t put it down until the startling conclusion.” —Valerie Martin, author of Property and I Give It to You

Martin, a market analyst, and Lily, a corporate attorney, have a life that many would envy—they share an expensive New York apartment with their twin toddlers, sample the delicacies of Manhattan’s finest restaurants, and take Caribbean vacations. But when the couple’s nanny announces her imminent departure, they panic: how will they ever find a replacement capable of managing their spirited boys? Enter Maeve, a young Irish émigré. Neither of them imagines how indispensable she will become, either to the household or to their marriage. As the family’s domestic bliss takes an unexpected turn, a different type of intimacy evolves, leading to an explosive finale.

A captivating, trenchant portrait of class and sexual dynamics, Look at Us reveals just how fragile our social arrangements really are.

T. L. Toma lives with his wife in Portland, Texas.



Praise For Look at Us

Advance Praise for Look at Us

“Into the lives of a quiet upper-class professional family in Manhattan comes a new nanny, young Maeve from Ireland: suddenly the air is charged with erotic intensity. The mildness was all illusion: soon our central characters are all wreaking heavy damage upon one another. Toma draws his world with Cheeverian nuance and flair; he’s deeply insightful about the new American culture of ‘watchers’—but to me his greatest skill is his ability to summon pure terror.” —George Dawes Green, author of The Caveman’s Valentine, The Juror, and Ravens

“Toma’s Look at Us is a scrupulous dissection of a contemporary marriage in mortal peril. It’s also a wild ride of a novel, gorgeously written, by turns comic, lyrical, elegiac, disturbing, and profound. I couldn’t put it down until the startling conclusion, which arrived with such force I gasped. What a vision! Intense and chilling. Not to be missed.” —Valerie Martin, author of Property and I Give It to You

“This book holds truths of all kinds—private, studied, euphoric, libidinal, and unbecoming—each one a revelation.” —Jackie Polzin, author of Brood

Select Praise for T. L. Toma

“Toma’s humor and crisp, staccato style . . . keep his ideas feeling fresh.” —New York Times Book Review

“Lively, funny and true to life. . . . Toma writes in a remarkable style, a headlong rush of words, characters and events.” —Sun-Sentinel

“[Toma’s] prose [is] powerful, impressionistic, and deftly ironic.” —Kirkus Reviews

Bellevue Literary Press, 9781942658917, 368pp.

Publication Date: October 12, 2021



About the Author

T. L. Toma is the author of two novels: Border Dance and Look at Us. He studied philosophy at Brown University and Northwestern University, where he received his PhD. He has taught in prisons, migrant labor camps, and adult literacy programs and currently teaches at Laredo College, Palo Alto College, and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.