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Writers & Lovers (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

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.

— From Andrea

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

March 2020 Indie Next List

“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


Following the breakout success of her critically acclaimed and award-winning novel Euphoria, Lily King returns with an unforgettable portrait of an artist as a young woman.

Blindsided by her mother's sudden death, and wrecked by a recent love affair, Casey Peabody has arrived in Massachusetts in the summer of 1997 without a plan. Her mail consists of wedding invitations and final notices from debt collectors. A former child golf prodigy, she now waits tables in Harvard Square and rents a tiny, moldy room at the side of a garage where she works on the novel she's been writing for six years. At thirty-one, Casey is still clutching onto something nearly all her old friends have let go of: the determination to live a creative life. When she falls for two very different men at the same time, her world fractures even more. Casey's fight to fulfill her creative ambitions and balance the conflicting demands of art and life is challenged in ways that push her to the brink.

Writers & Lovers follows Casey--a smart and achingly vulnerable protagonist--in the last days of a long youth, a time when every element of her life comes to a crisis. Written with King's trademark humor, heart, and intelligence, Writers & Lovers is a transfixing novel that explores the terrifying and exhilarating leap between the end of one phase of life and the beginning of another.

About the Author

Lily King is the author of the novels The Pleasing Hour, The English Teacher, Father of the Rain, and Euphoria, one of the New York Times Book Review's 10 Best Books of 2014 and winner of the Kirkus Prize. She lives in Maine.

Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9780802148537
ISBN-10: 0802148530
Publisher: Grove Press
Publication Date: March 3rd, 2020
Pages: 320
Language: English
image created by sara mcnally | constellation & co | seattle, wa
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