“An Absolute Keeper”: THE POET’S HOUSE by Jean Thompson

“A closely observed, droll, coming-of-age story . . . An absolute keeper.”
—Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air

It’s almost time for readers everywhere to escape into the world of The Poet’s House by National Book Award finalist Jean Thompson, coming July 12, 2022. Read more about this smart and witty story about a young woman who discovers the insular world of writers, and pre-order The Poet’s House today!

Carla is in her twenties, working for a landscaper, lacking confidence, still unsure what direction her life will take. Viridian is a lauded and lovely aging poet whose reputation has been defined by her infamous affair with a famous male poet, Mathias, many years earlier. When Carla is hired to work at Viridian’s house, she is perplexed by this community of writers: their tendency to recite lines in conversation, the stories of their many liaisons, their endless wine-soaked nights. And still she becomes enamored with Viridian and her whole circle, and especially with the power of words, the “ache and hunger that can both be awakened and soothed by a poem,” a hunger that Carla feels sharply at this stagnating moment in her young life. At the same time, she sees how even Viridian has had to compromise so much to take her place in the world of letters. And as Viridian’s standing begins to fade, a number of people angle to gain possession of Mathias’s cycle of poems written about Viridian, a cycle he famously burned as he read them. Yet long after Mathias’ s death, one copy may still rest with Viridian. If so, why won’t she release it?

A wry meditation on art as both transformative and on the ways in which it can be leveraged as commerce, as well as a perceptive examination of the female artist, Jean Thompson’s novel is at once delightfully funny and wise, and will resonate with readers who loved Lily King’s Writers & Lovers, Meg Wolitzer’s The Female Persuasion, and Susan Choi’s Trust Exercise.

“There are books that I review and love and can’t wait to put into the hands of friends who I think will love them, too. Then, there’s a subset of books I love that will never leave this house, because I want them nearby — to dip into, reread and feel comforted by. The Poet’s House, by Jean Thompson, is the newest addition to that subset of books that’s staying put. It’s a closely observed, droll, coming-of-age story about an insecure young woman drawn into a shimmering clique of poets; it’s also a wise story about the corrosive power of shame and the primal fear of sounding stupid, unsophisticated and sentimental.” — Maureen Corrigan for NPR’s Fresh Air

Pre-order The Poet’s House today.

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