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Writers & Lovers by Lily King is a coming of age novel set in the late 1990s. The details and small moments here are beautiful: observations on writing, waiting, and grief. We read King's breakout novel Euphoria in our book club last year and this novel is wildly different in tone, but just as mesmerizing.
I feel like a conductor who is finally able to hear all the instruments at once. I think back on all the rooms in all the cities and towns where I wrote the pieces of the book, all the doubts and days of failure but also that knot of stubborness that's still inside me.
Writers & Lovers is a discreet novel in many ways. It snuck up on me, how much I ended up loving it.
Lily King's prose is beautiful and clear; her subject matter is a young woman with two post-graduate degrees and a novel six years in the making. Her world is stretched thin and tense when King first introduces her, Casey. On page one I was already holding my breath, by the end I let out several deep sighs as Casey learns to take on the uncertainties and near calamaties of being a creative 30 year old woman without a perfect plan. This is a lovely and delicate novel whose characters are heavy with the realities of loss, yearning, love, and discovery.— From Elise
“Casey lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, waits tables, worries about her debt, and falls for the wrong man and the right one. She dreams, she grieves, and she worries about her health. In spite of it all, she manages to finish her novel. Lily King’s assured, closely observed story is a loving portrait of Casey and the writing life. I don’t think there’s a single unnecessary word in the whole thing. Writers & Lovers is a joy to read, a gift from a writer at the top of her game.”
— David Enyeart, Next Chapter Booksellers, St. Paul, MN