Wayward (Paperback)
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Wayward (Paperback)

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£8.99
Paperback 336 Pages
Published: 07/07/2022
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'Furious and addictive' New York Times
'Urgent, deeply moving, wholly original' GEORGE SAUNDERS
'A dazzling lightning bolt of a novel' JENNY OFFILL
'Fiercely funny and deliciously subversive' YIYUN LI

'Wayward reads like a burning fever dream. A virtuosic, singular and very funny portrait of a woman seeking sanity and purpose in a world gone mad' NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

'***** If there's any justice in the world, Spiotta's firecracker of a novel, Wayward, will bring her the attention she very much deserves' Lucy Scholes, SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

Samantha Raymond's life has begun to come apart: her mother is ill, her teenage daughter is increasingly remote, and she finds herself staring into 'the Mids' - hours of supreme wakefulness when women of a certain age contemplate their lives. For Sam, this means motherhood, mortality and the state of an unravelling nation.
When Sam falls in love with a decrepit Arts and Crafts house on the wrong side of town, she buys it on a whim and flees her suburban life, attempting to find beauty in the ruins.

'One of the most wildly talented writers in America. This is Spiotta's best book yet' GEORGE SAUNDERS
'A slyly funny, clever and compelling story about the righteous (and rarely irrational) rage of women of a certain age' SARRA MANNING, RED magazine
'A piercing novel about what we lose and gain by when we step out of life's deepest worn grooves' VOGUE
'She writes with sly humour and utter seriousness; a rare articulation of midlife now' CLAIRE MESSUD
'What begins as a vertiginous leap into hilarious rabbit holes ends as a brilliant meditation on mortality and time. How does she do it? Only Dana Spiotta knows. I'm just happy to see her work her magic' JENNY OFFILL

Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
ISBN: 9780349016436
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 260 g
Dimensions: 196 x 124 x 28 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

An urgent, deeply moving, wholly original novel by one of the most wildly talented writers in America. This is Spiotta's best book yet, rich with all the joyful immersion-in-culture that characterized her earlier work, and of which she is a master, but with, it seems to me, more heart, hope, and urgency. There's not a smarter, more engaging, more celebratory writer working today than Dana Spiotta, and here she shows us to ourselves with stunning, sometimes lacerating, honesty, but also with a feeling of genuine hope for us, i.e., with kindness. I finished the book last night and woke this morning both fonder of, and more terrified for, America - George Saunders

A dazzling lightning bolt of a novel which illuminates the sometimes exhilarating, sometimes heartbreaking moments of connection and disconnection in our lives. What begins as a vertiginous leap into hilarious rabbit holes ends as a brilliant meditation on mortality and time. How does she do it? Only Dana Spiotta knows. I'm just happy to see her work her magic - Jenny Offill

What a thrilling experience to take a wayward journey along with Dana Spiotta's heroine, in the social landscape of America when America is probing its future, in a woman's complex internal landscape as she forges forward. Wayward is a fiercely funny and deliciously subversive novel - Yiyun Li

Thrilling . . . Spiotta's novels are unfailingly dense with life-the textures, digressions, and details thereof-and Wayward is no exception. The novel is at once satirical and earnest: Sam asks what she can do to atone for her thoughtless privilege, what role she might play as an agent of change. There's much comedy in the asking, but the novel makes clear that the answers aren't straightforward. Spiotta offers grand themes and beautiful peripheral incidents . . . she writes with sly humor and utter seriousness; a rare articulation of midlife now. For this reader, there is uncommon pleasure in the paradoxes of this climacteric tale - Claire Messud, Harper's Magazine

Dana Spiotta's novel Wayward is razor-sharp on any number of things, above all the insoluble ravages of time - Joshua Ferris, Observer

Furious and addictive . . . Sam [is] an ideal guide, rash, funny, searching, entirely unpredictable, appalled at her own entitlement and ineffectuality-drawn with a kind of skeptical fondness . . . So much contemporary fiction swims about in its own theories; what a pleasure to encounter not just ideas about the thing, but the thing itself-descriptions that irradiate the pleasure centers of the brain, a protagonist so densely, exuberantly imagined, she feels like a visitation - Parul Sehgal, New York Times

Exhilarating. . . Wayward reads like a burning fever dream. A virtuosic, singular and very funny portrait of a woman seeking sanity and purpose in a world gone mad - New York Times Book Review

A comic, vital new novel . . . if Wayward has competition in the category of best American novel devoted to the subject of perimenopause, I am not aware of it . . . [Spiotta] is satirizing her own demographic, and with verve . . When a wife, not her husband, is the one to indulge a midlife crisis and abandon her family, her behavior is either derided as selfish or championed as subversive. A good novel shouldn't ask us to choose between those readings, and Spiotta has written a very good novel. - Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker

Wayward is a strikingly human and affecting story... gloriously cool, deftly assembled, brimming with mood... a hymn to iconoclasm, a piercing novel about what we lose and gain by when we step out of life's deepest worn grooves - Vogue's 'Best Books to Read in 2021'

Wayward is about rescuing your life from the mess you've made of it so far, while your body goes haywire ... Simmering under Spiotta's deceptively breezy, fluid description of everyday life in 2017 Syracuse are large and perplexing questions about the eternal interplay of idealism and pragmatism, of the longing for a better world and the reality of human frailty. . . Sam dissects many flavors of contemporary delusion and distraction with consummate precision - Laura Miller, Slate

Breathtaking... a strikingly intelligent book, sometimes funny, sometimes painful . . . a book that masterfully explores the pressures of being a woman in a hostile society. The characters are stubbornly defiant, and Spiotta does a wonderful job depicting [Sam and her daughter Ally] in their twin rebellions. A brilliant novel with love - never a simple subject - at its core - Michael Schaub, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Riddled with insights into aging, womanhood, and discontent, Wayward is as elegant as it is raw, and almost as funny as it is sad - Philadelphia Inquirer

Set in upstate New York, this smartly observed tale of inter-generational strife follows Sam . . . We join the action when, angry at Donald Trump's election, she walks out on her marriage, to the ire of her teenage daughter, Ally. Spiotta tells the story from both their perspectives in a ruefully funny portrait of the difficulties of navigating womanhood - Anthony Cummins, Mail on Sunday

If there's any justice in the world, Spiotta's firecracker of a novel, Wayward, will bring her the attention she very much deserves . . . this is the story of one woman's mid-life reckoning. [Wayward is] about mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, sex, love and freedom . . . Spiotta is a crisp and alert stylist - Lucy Scholes, Sunday Telegraph

A slyly funny, clever and compelling story about the righteous (and rarely irrational) rage of women of a certain age - Sarra Manning, Red magazine

A smart look at midlife, the menopause and mother-daughter dynamics - Good Housekeeping

A magnificent book, constantly surprising, fierce, sympathetic and original - Susie Boyt

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“Dana Spiotta – Wayward”

Samantha Raymond cannot say what it was exactly that lead her to buy a house and to move out of the suburban comfort zone with her husband Matt and their teenage daughter Ally. Maybe Trump’s election, maybe the... More

Hardback edition
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