Writer and Professor
Joanna Hershon is the author of five novels: St. Ivo (Farrar, Straus & Giroux April 2020), Swimming, The Outside of August, The German Bride and A Dual Inheritance (Ballantine Books). Her writing has appeared in (among other places) Granta, The New York Times, One Story, The Virginia Quarterly Review, the literary anthologies Brooklyn Was Mine and Freud’s Blind Spot, and was shortlisted for the 2007 O. Henry Prize Stories. She teaches in the Creative Writing department at Columbia University.
"Hershon maintains a quiet terror throughout this slim, eccentric novel. Though it moves at a harrowing pace, this is not a traditional thriller." --The New York Times Book Review "One of 20 books for ideal quarantine reading... For those fantasizing about a weekend getaway right now, perhaps this rich psychological thriller will scratch (and then curb) the itch. Hershon’s latest follows a seemingly idyllic married couple, grieving the disappearance of their daughter, as they’re invited to spend a few days with some estranged friends in their new country home. We won’t tell you what happens next.” --Entertainment Weekly “In clear, compassionate prose, Hershon conjures characters readers may initially assume they know and then gently and gradually subverts those assumptions, revealing the emotions and difficulties with which these nuanced characters are grappling . . . This graceful story offers insights into family, friendship, and finding a way to move on after a loss.” ―Kirkus, starred review “With a building sense of foreboding and suspense, Hershon traces the emotions of Sarah, a feature filmmaker and mother. . . . Parents will shiver at Hershon’s moving story of fierce but helpless parental love.” ―Mary Ellen Prindiville, Booklist “From the very first sentences of St. Ivo, I felt certain I was in good hands. What happens when we can no longer communicate with the people we know best? What happens when what was once fluent between two people becomes indecipherable? Not a tender novel, exactly, though there is tenderness in these pages. In St. Ivo Joanna Hershon paints a portrait of grief, of survival, but also of hope. Anyone who has ever loved fiercely, desperately, will devour this story, as I did. The effect here is cumulative and I found myself reading the final pages with the book gripped in both hands.” ―Mary Beth Keane, author of Ask Again, Yes
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