To Be a Man
WINNER OF THE 2022 WINGATE LITERARY PRIZE
A BOOK OF THE YEAR IN THE FINANCIAL TIMES, ESQUIRE, O, THE OPRAH MAGAZINE, TIME MAGAZINE, LITHUB AND BUSTLE
‘Superb’ New York Times
‘Masterful … Supremely intelligent’ Guardian
‘Dazzling … A marvel’ Mail on Sunday
Deftly weaving from one end of life to another – from ageing parents to newborn babies, from a young girl’s coming-of-age to an old woman’s unexpected delivery of a strange new second youth, from mystery and wonder at a life at its close or at a future waiting to unfold, Nicole Krauss’s stories illuminate the moments in the lives of women in which the forces of sex, power and violence collide.
Beautiful, taut and dark, spinning across the world, from Switzerland, Japan and New York to Tel Aviv, Los Angeles and South America, To Be a Man fearlessly delves into questions of masculinity and violence, regret and regeneration, control and desire.
‘How much do we really know ourselves and each other? These questions linger long after the final pages of this supremely intelligent collection’ Aminatta Forna, Guardian
An astounding read ... A timeless one, too * i * Krauss still somehow seems to have invented a new form for each novel, each story - their characters so fully realized that Krauss's deft authorial hand is rarely evident * New York Times * A supremely intelligent collection ... The question of who we are at different times and places, and with different people, comes masterfully to the fore -- Aminatta Forna * Guardian * Through her beautifully detailed and immersive portrayals, novelist Nicole Krauss explores gender, power and ageing ... Together, the ten stories reflect on what does - or doesn't - make men and women different * Time, Books of the Year * Dazzling ... Themes of power, desire and familial crisis are probed unflinchingly and, at times, with eerie prescience * Financial Times, Books of the Year * The acclaimed novelist's first short story collection is a marvel * Mail on Sunday * Recent first collections of short stories from established novelists such as Zadie Smith (Grand Union, 2019), Joseph O'Neill (Good Trouble, 2018) and Jeffrey Eugenides (Fresh Complaint, 2017) have provided a concentration of high-quality writing, their tales cherry picked from decades of successful publication. Nicole Krauss's debut collection, To Be a Man, joins those ranks * Times Literary Supplement * From a contemporary master comes an astounding collection of ten globetrotting stories, each one a powerful dissection of the thorny connections between men and women ... Each story is masterfully crafted and deeply contemplative, barrelling toward a shimmering, inevitable conclusion, proving once again that Krauss is one of our most formidable talents in fiction * Esquire * An intoxicating blend that plumbs the depths of the human condition ... As a calling card for the novels, this collection delivers a strong indication of how electrifying her writing can be. It also holds its own, however, as a powerful literary body in its own right - a nuanced, provocative exploration on what it means to be human * Irish Times * These ten stories - which focus on the relationships between daughters and their fathers, teenage girls and their older lovers, dancers and choreographers - show us that authority and control are subtle, slippery things, not permanently possessed by one gender * Stylist * A sustained shot of brilliance. By turns tight and exuberant, disciplined and expansive, the collection shimmers with insight and moments of perfectly realized beauty. It provokes unabashed laughter, it inspires profound thinking, it delights and disturbs in equal measure * Boston Globe * The acclaimed novelist's first short story collection is a marvel * Herald * A collection of wonders ... To Be a Man offers the pleasure of being in the company of Krauss' surprising, challenging mind, tugged along by an imagination that's ever curious about the limits and possibilities of fiction, of time, and of love * San Francisco Chronicle * Nicole Krauss, one of the great novelists working today, has never shied away from asking the big questions. But as her new collection of short stories shows, her power lies not simply in her own ability to interrogate life - but in the way she calls on her readers to do the same ... One of Krauss's gifts is her ability to instantly conjure up the intimacies of a world while probing it ... Throughout To Be a Man, Krauss's writing is as lyrical as ever; beautiful phrases just keep on coming' * Financial Times * Stunning. Intellectually and emotionally intelligent and immaculately written -- LOUISE KENNEDY Krauss's short stories feel like they could each be unspooled into novels of their own ... To Be a Man's tenseness and uncertainties are strangely suited to the current moment * Wall Street Journal, Best Books of the Autumn * Praise for Nicole Krauss: 'This is one of those novels that makes you miss your train stop, and I say that from experience. It's a beautiful story about two very different but intertwined lives, and it's told with depth, heart, and humour -- Kiley Reid Dazzling ... Finds Krauss at the top of her game. Blazingly intelligent, elegantly written and a remarkable achievement -- Emily St John Mandel * Guardian * A richly layered masterpiece; creative, profound, insightful, deeply serious, effortlessly elegant, both human and humane. Krauss is a poet and a philosopher, and this latest work does what only the very best fiction can do - startles, challenges and enlightens the reader, while showing the familiar world anew ... A pleasure and a privilege to read -- Francesca Segal * Financial Times * A complex and rewarding novel that will linger long after you've reached the final page * Stylist * Lucid and exhilarating ... A great gift * New York Review of Books * A brilliant novel. I am full of admiration -- Philip Roth As original and impressive a work of fiction as I have encountered in years; a welcome reminder of how a novel can be defiantly and brilliantly novel * New Statesman * A meditation on loss and transformation and an investigation of the mysteries of art and literature and family -- Erica Wagner * Observer * Flawless ... Forest Dark is accomplished, generous and unabashedly serious -- Cressida Connolly * Literary Review * She gives us a deft and mesmerising portrait of female midlife crisis and the desire to ground one's self in the world ... impossible to put down -- Sarah Hughes * Independent * A remarkable accomplishment * Times Literary Supplement * The sort of intelligent, serious novel seldom written nowadays. Those shards of gleaming insight are well worth gathering up * The Times *
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