This is definitely not a ghost story. But for a while after you’re gone, I see you everywhere. Every ragged young person sitting huddled on a pavement, every stretched-out body under cardboard in a shop doorway.
Two parents stand by powerlessly as their only child seems intent on destroying herself. As the mother—a novelist—attempts to understand her daughter, she finds herself revisiting her own uneasy, unresolved relationship with her mother. Weaving between childhoods past and present, laced with temptation and betrayal, Nonfiction: A Novel is an unflinching account of a mother, daughter, wife, and author reckoning with the world around her. But can a writer ever be trusted with the truth of her own story?
Clear-eyed, lacerating, and fearless, Julie Myerson’s Nonfiction: A Novel explores maternal love as an emotional foundation to both crave and fear. A hauntingly beautiful and deeply moving love letter from a mother to a daughter, this is a tale of damage and addiction, recovery and creativity, compassion and love.
About the Author
Julie Myerson is the author of ten novels, including the bestselling Something Might Happen and The Stopped Heart, and three works of nonfiction, including Home: The Story of Everyone Who Ever Lived in Our House and The Lost Child. As a critic and columnist, she has written for many newspapers including The Guardian, the FT, Harper’s Bazaar and the New York Times, and she was a regular guest on BBC TV's Newsnight Review. She lives in London with her family.
Compelling. . . . feels ultimately like the truth. — Kirkus Reviews
This glitteringly painful novel, so steady and clear in its analysis of addiction, creativity, and the factors that determine female and familial identity, is the book [Myerson] was intended to write, and she has elevated it into a template for the re-making of self by means of a transformative and radical honesty. — Rachel Cusk
Julie Myerson’s Nonfiction is a magic trick of a novel in which every gut-punch lands and every playful gesture delights. A tour-de-force of concentration and tone, it’s also a masterclass in the existential ransom that is motherhood.
— Joshua Ferris
Courageous, compassionate, and devastating." — Andrew Solomon
Myerson writes with devastating clarity about the most complex and troubling of emotions. Nonfiction is painful, powerful, and utterly compelling.
— Sarah Waters
Searing and tragic and cleverly layered, this thought-provoking novel about mothers and daughters, guilt and responsibility, fiction and truth, took me to the dark interior of family relationships and left me heart-broken. Just wonderful. — Claire Fuller
In plain, unflinching sentences, Julie Myerson takes us right into a family's broken heart. Nonfiction might be a novel, but it feels like the truth. A raw, urgent, and compulsive read. — Rupert Thomson
Nonfiction is compassionate, intelligent and bloody novel, where trust and love, motherhood and creativity crash and break on the rocks of addiction, treachery and confusion. Myerson's combination of ferocity and tenderness is unique.
— Louisa Young
Utterly compelling and painfully truthful. — Polly Findlay
This is such a compulsive read. Searingly honest and raw, Julie Myerson's new novel cuts to the heart of emotions we might try to evade, because they're just too overwhelming. — Deborah Moggach
I found it truly remarkable, simultaneously honest and tricksy, deeply emotional and cunningly constructed, like having a magician explain an unbelievable trick even as she astonishes you with it. She manages to speak with heartbreaking clarity about the damage of addiction within a family and at the same time to examine the rights and responsibilities of the professional writer of fiction to her subject matter, herself and her readers. . . . I was moved and dazzled in equal measure. — Olivia Hetreed