Suspend Your Disbelief

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Book of the Week: The Adults, by Alison Espach

The Adults_EspachEach week we give away several free copies of a featured novel or story collection as part of our Book-of-the-Week program. Last week we featured Lori Ostlund’s The Bigness of the World, and we’re pleased to announce the winners: Susan Kleinman, David Northington, and Dan Cafaro. Congratulations! Each will receive a signed copy of this novel.

This week we’re featuring Alison Espach’s debut novel The Adults. Espach received her MFA in Fiction from Washington University in St. Louis and now lives in New York City. Her short fiction has appeared in such places as McSweeney’s, Five Chapters, Del Sol Review, and Sentence. She is also a contributor for Fiction Writers Review. Her most recent piece for FWR was a review of Billy Lombardo’s novel in stories How to Hold A Woman.

Aryn Kyle, author of The God of Animals and Boys and Girls Like You and Me, says this about Espach’s novel:

With shining prose and razor-sharp wit, Alison Espach writes about the murky landscape between childhood and adulthood, the mistakes and misunderstandings, the betrayals and the beauty. The Adults is a piercing and authentic journey through adolescence, filled with squeamish missteps and laugh-out-loud insights, wrenching heartache, and characters so rich and tenderly drawn that one can’t help but love them through all their flaws and failures. I absolutely adored this book.

The novel received an equally positive review in The Wall Street Journal:

The Adults is one of the funniest books I’ve read in a long time. Ms. Espach’s coup is to chart Emily’s growth through her maturing sense of humor. The hilarious first chapter features biting adolescent snark (adults, she complains, are “boring and powerful—saying any boring thing and getting away with it”). But as disasters strike, Emily’s reflexive joking becomes layered with a sense of helplessness. Witty ironic detachment becomes her means of escape, and it gives her a strange double identity. Ms. Espach handles the pervasive irony perfectly. We’re always able to see both the smirking mask that Emily shows the world and the tumult of feelings stirred by her traumatized love for her teacher.

And Publishers Weekly:

Espach perfects the snarky, postironic deadpan of the 1990s and teenagers everywhere, and her ear for modern speech and eye for fresh detail transform a familiar story into an education in what it means to be a grown-up.

We’re very proud to have her as one of our regular Contributors, and also proud to feature her debut novel as this week’s Book-of-the-Week selection.

If you’d like to be eligible for this week’s drawing (and all future ones), please visit our Facebook Page and “like” us. As we did last week, we’ll be giving away three signed copies of this title. To everyone who’s already a fan, thanks again! What we want to do is not only find ways to expand our readership, but also to put books we love in the hands of readers.

So please help us spread the word!

Literary Partners