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Available copies

  • 0 of 2 copies available at LARL/NWRL Consortium.
  • 0 of 2 copies available at Lake Agassiz Regional Library. (Show preferred library)

Current holds

4 current holds with 2 total copies.

Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Detroit Lakes Public Library OFF (Text) 33500013202478 New On holds shelf -
Moorhead Public Library OFF (Text) 33500013202486 New On holds shelf -

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780385351102
  • ISBN: 0385351100
  • Physical Description: 207 pages ; 20 cm
  • Edition: First edition.
  • Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2020.

Content descriptions

General Note:
"This is a Borzoi book."
Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references.
Summary, etc.:
"Lizzie Benson slid into her job as a librarian without a traditional degree. But this gives her a vantage point from which to practice her other calling: she is a fake shrink. For years, she has tended to her God-haunted mother and her recovering addict brother. They have both stabilized for the moment, but Lizzie has little chance to spend her new free time with husband and son before her old mentor, Sylvia Liller, makes a proposal. She's become famous for her prescient podcast, Hell and High Water, and wants to hire Lizzie to answer the mail she receives: from left-wingers worried about climate change and right wingers worried about the decline of western civilization. As Lizzie dives into this polarized world, she begins to wonder what it means to keep tending your own garden once you've seen the flames beyond its walls. When her brother becomes a father and Sylvia a recluse, Lizzie is forced to address the limits of her own experience--but still she tries to save everyone, using everything she's learned about empathy and despair, conscience and collusion, from her years of wandering the library stacks . . . And all the while the voices of the city keep floating in--funny, disturbing, and increasingly mad"-- Provided by publisher.

  • Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2019 December #1
    *Starred Review* Ofill follows her best-selling previous novel, Dept. of Speculation (2014), with another crisply revelatory portrait of a marriage and family in flux. Narrator Lizzie is a "feral" university librarian, lacking the degree yet possessing the requisite inquiring intelligence and forbearing sense of humor. Her husband is a classics scholar turned educational video game designer, and their young son is sweetly comic and precocious. Lizzie also tends to her neurotic brother, whose battle against drug addiction is ongoing, and her fixed-income mother. Enter Lizzie's college mentor, Sylvia, who cajoles her into accepting a side gig handling the end-times-lunatic messages from the increasingly vociferous audience for Sylvia's controversially bleak podcast, Hell and High Water. Climate change, pollution, toxic politics surrounding the 2016 election, rich people and their "doomsteads" and working-class preppers, and disaster psychology all preoccupy Lizzie in addition to the relentless everyday clamor and madness. She finds refuge in composing rueful, mordantly funny, razor-sharp journal entries, documenting moments ludicrous, frightening, and tender. She muses, "I have to be careful. My heart is prodigal." Offill, who will delight fans of Lydia Davis and Joy Williams, performs breathtaking emotional and social distillation in this pithy and stealthily resonant tale of a woman trying to keep others, and herself, from "tipping into the abyss." Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Author Notes

JENNY OFFILL is the author of the novels Last Things (a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and a finalist for the L.A. Times First Book Award), and Dept. of Speculation, which was shortlisted for the Folio Prize, the Pen Faulkner Award and the International Dublin Award. She lives in upstate New York and teaches at Syracuse University and in the low residency program at Queens University.

Subject: Families > Fiction.
Librarians > Fiction.
Working mothers > Fiction.
FICTION / Literary.
FICTION / Psychological.
FICTION / Sagas.
Working mothers.
Genre: Fiction.
Psychological fiction.
Thrillers (Fiction)

Additional Resources