My favorite book of 2023.
What initially feels familiar in tone and topic gives way to a complex, unique healing journey unlike anything I've ever read.
Carriere's voice is commanding and lays bare the knotty nature of trauma with striking lucidity.
An absorbing exercise in existential contemplation. The Archive of Feelings is a memory palace furnished with isolation and melancholy, its protagonist feeling fully human thanks to Stamm's hallmark clarity and precision.
The most flummoxing, selfish search for the self you're likely to read in this lifetime. The Book of Ayn is the pinnacle of gallows humor and every page made me flinch, giggle, or question my moral code.
A sterling satire, whip-smart and deadpan, the observations of modern ideologies and their ensuing maladies also carry a ruminative quality that lets the darker humor breathe.
Lexi Freiman is either a genius or a monster but, either way, I'll be chewing over The Book of Ayn for a long, long while.
The perfect introduction to a true American visionary.
Easily seduced by tales of outliers or a wicked protagonist, this book's promise of a woman's "ill-fated transformation" was beyond irresistible.
Mary Ellen (or is she Dedee? or maybe Natalie?) crept under my skin and made me squirm, squirm, squirm.
The most well-rounded book I've read in centuries.
A quiet masterpiece with charm and resonance.
There is an enormous amount power in the brief page count of The Details, making it a master class in refinement.
A mournful, utterly unique take on the lost-love narrative: woman stalks her daughter amid well-intentioned but sometimes poorly executed care.
Harnessing the power of human fallibility and regret to great effect, How to Love Your Daughter explores the full reach of how brittle familial bonds can be.
I am absolutely awestruck by the beauty of this debut. It is a tale of sexual and cultural awakening that unfolds in slow time with a beauty and easy lilt that instill a sense of great peace in the reader.
Balancing the character's vulnerabilities with a fortitude of self and profound familial affections, Khabushani paints a compassionate portrait of youth with an immediacy and generosity that make this book universal.
Always kooky but never clownish, One's Company is the most impossible of things: a zany novel about trauma.
A striking debut novel equal parts art history and narrative, Activities of Daily Living juxtaposes the protagonist's study of performance artist Tehching Hsieh and her father's cognitive decline. This is a riveting work of fiction scrutinizing the possibility of art/meaning versus the inevitable slow squeeze of time and how one simply cannot exist without the other.
A sly, elegant book in which stark prose gives way to even starker truths.
Moore's Hawaiian adolescence and eventual place in the center of Hollywood's intellectual heyday are intoxicating - the classiest account of LA cool one could imagine.
An absolute enchantment.
I hope your floor is clean because if you're brave enough for Ordesa, you'll hit the tile with a hard thud more than once.
Grief, memory, family, patriotism. Vilas evaluates every last thing that gives a life weight - or maybe frees a life of its weight - with a melancholy ballasted with a warmth that will recalibrate the reader's very sense of self.
The find of the year.
Box Hill's sleek and measured tone has a confession's magnetic intensity.
A novel full of real, practical widsom around suffering and grief, Life Events transcends notions of literature and is nothing short of catharsis.
"It was strange to watch someone go deep into their memory to try and piece together the story of their lives. Watching them hunt around for some best answer, decide what was too painful to hide, and even more painful to allow to the surface."
This book almost ruined a vacation. I could not, nor did I want to, think about or do anything else until I finished.
Gender politics and the role of art in our lives are the the heart of the thing but the three singular voices with which the story is told perfectly illuminate the impossibility of absolute definition. Brilliant.
All you need to know about Egerton’s novel is that it purrs like a kitten and will not disappoint.