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‘I was totally overwhelmed by this extraordinary novel. A total joy – and laugh-out-loud funny’ DEBORAH MOGGACH

The New York Times-bestselling, National Book Award-winning author of THE FRIEND brings her singular voice to a story about the meaning of life and death, and the value of companionship.

The woman at the heart of this extraordinary novel finds that everyone she meets has a common need: the urge to talk about themselves and to have an audience for their experiences. And so she tries to pay attention, to imagine and listen to what those around her are going through. But then an old friend makes an extraordinary request and draws her into an intense and transformative experience of her own.

‘I just adore Sigrid Nunez’ PAULA HAWKINS

‘Brilliant. I loved it as much as The FriendSUSIE STEINER

‘When I open one of [Sigrid Nunez’s] novels, I almost always know immediately: This is where I want to be As good as The Friend, if not better’ NEW YORK TIMES

‘A true pleasure to read, a novel bursting with wit, warmth, and human empathy’ INDEPENDENT

‘Brilliant The narrative control of this novel simply dazzles’ SPECTATOR

Reviews

A thought-provoking novel about life and death ... Nunez widens and narrows the focus of her lens, from the death of the world, to the death of a close friend and back again, with superb control. Her writing is taut, clear and insightful
Evening Standard
A touching, poignant illustration of what it means to have empathy for the lives around you
USA Today
Profound, moving and brilliant
Mail on Sunday
With both compassion and joy, Nunez contemplates how we survive life's certain suffering, and don't, with words and one another
Booklist (starred review)
Spectacular
Publishers Weekly
If the meaning of life is that it ends, Nunez gets to the nub of meaning in her brilliant novel. I loved it as much as The Friend
Susie Steiner
A riveting picture of friendship intensifying as it draws to a close ... a rich meditation on companionship, loss and love
TLS
Sigrid Nunez orchestrates a beautiful chorus of humanness here, and the novel asks a question we might all be thinking in these distant times: What does it mean to really be there for someone in times of hardship?
Lithub
Both wise and unsettling ... This book's quiet discovery is that, no matter how extreme the circumstances, "life must be dealt with"
Wall Street Journal
Fans of Rachel Cusk will love this thoughtful, wise novel ... This complex tale demands the reader's attention, but is all the more satisfying for it
Good Housekeeping
Beauty, friendship, nature, art: These are the salves to loneliness and despair, and Nunez offers them all in this searching look into life and death
Janice Y.k. Lee, New York Times Book Review
Nunez's prose is conspiratorial and elegant, whimsical and wise. Alongside a contemplation of mortality are winks: For all its pain and seriousness, life is absurd, comical; we humans are impossible to figure out - and yet so tender
Oprah magazine (Best books of the year)
Brilliant ... The narrative control of this novel simply dazzles
Spectator
Dryly funny and deeply tender
Kirkus Reviews (Starred)
Much as in Rachel Cusk's recent work, the narrator is a conduit and sounding board for the stories of others... Deeply empathetic without being sentimental, this novel explores women's lives, their choices, and how they support one another....Highly recommended for readers who favour emotional resonance over escapism during difficult times
Library Journal (starred review)
A funny and moving story of two women - one of whom has terminal cancer
Stylist Best Autumn Books 2020
I was dazed by the novel's grace
New Yorker
I was totally overwhelmed by this extraordinary novel. Even if it weren't about a subject dear to my heart I would be equally thrilled by its grace and profundity. Sentence by sentence it's a total joy - and sometimes, much to my surprise, laugh-out-loud funny
Deborah Moggach
A smart look at the bonds and demands of friendship
i Best New Books for Autumn
When I open one of [Sigrid Nunez's] novels, I almost always know immediately: This is where I want to be ... "What Are You Going Through" is as good as "The Friend," if not better
Dwight Garner, New York Times
A true pleasure to read, a novel bursting with wit, warmth, and human empathy
Independent
Impossible to put down
People Magazine
Remarkable ... powerful
Observer
Love, death, friendship, compassion & SO MUCH wisdom. I just adore Sigrid Nunez
Paula Hawkins