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This wonderful, wistful, intelligent novel recounts what happens to an accomplished New York writer of a certain age whose mentor/lover commits suicide, bequeathing his Harlequin Great Dane to her care when she lives in a tiny Chelsea Apartment and does not want to lose either her friend or her apartment. Oh, and it just happened to be the deserving recipient of the 2018 National Book Award for Fiction.
Bitingly funny, sad, and true. For the one who loves hard, and has known loss. For the dog lover, literature buff, jaded New Yorker. The friend offers all the feels, and a lot of room for reflection on the big and small questions of life.
The best book ever written about dogs and grief.
A moving story of love, friendship, grief, healing, and the magical bond between a woman and her dog. When a woman unexpectedly loses her lifelong best friend and mentor, she finds herself burdened with the unwanted dog he has left behind. Her own battle against grief is intensified by the mute suffering of the dog, a huge Great Dane traumatized by the inexplicable disappearance of its master, and by the threat of eviction: dogs are prohibited in her apartment building. While others worry that grief has made her a victim of magical thinking, the woman refuses to be separated from the dog except for brief periods of time. Isolated from the rest of the world, increasingly obsessed with the dog's care, determined to read its mind and fathom its heart, she comes dangerously close to unraveling. But while troubles abound, rich and surprising rewards lie in store for both of them. Elegiac and searching, The Friend is both a meditation on loss and a celebration of human-canine devotion.
About the Author
Sigrid Nunez is the author of the novels Salvation City, The Last of Her Kind, A Feather on the Breath of God, and For Rouenna, among others. She is also the author of Sempre Susan: A Memoir of Susan Sontag. She has been the recipient of several awards, including a Whiting Award, the Rome Prize in Literature, and a Berlin Prize Fellowship. Nunez lives in New York City.