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From the acclaimed author of Last Things comes a slim, stunning portrait of a marriage--a beguiling rumination on the mysteries of intimacy, trust, faith, knowledge, and the condition of universal shipwreck that unites us all.ONE OF THE 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR - THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW A Best Book of the Year: The New Yorker, The Boston Globe, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Vogue.com, Electric Literature, Buzzfeed In the beginning, it was easy to imagine their future. They were young and giddy, sure of themselves and of their love for each other. "Dept. of Speculation" was their code name for all the thrilling uncertainties that lay ahead. Then they got married, had a child and navigated the familiar calamities of family life--a colicky baby, a faltering relationship, stalled ambitions. When their marriage reaches a sudden breaking point, the wife tries to retrace the steps that have led them to this place, invoking everything from Kafka to the Stoics to doomed Russian cosmonauts as she analyzes what is lost and what remains. In language that shimmers with rage and longing and wit, Offill has created a brilliantly suspenseful love story--a novel to read in one sitting, even as its piercing meditations linger long after the last page.
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"Shimmering. . . . Breathtaking. . . . Joyously demanding." --The New York Times Book Review"Slender, quietly smashing. . . . A book so radiant, so sparkling with sunlight and sorrow, that it almost makes a person gasp." --The Boston Globe "Powerful. . . . Exquisite. . . . A novel that's wonderfully hard to encapsulate, because it faces in many directions at the same time, and glitters with different emotional colors." --The New Yorker "A startling feat of storytelling . . . Each line a dazzling, perfectly chiseled arrowhead aimed at your heart." --Vanity Fair "Dept. of Speculation resembles no book I've read before. If I tell you that it's funny, and moving, and true; that it's as compact and mysterious as a neutron; that it tells a profound story of love and parenthood while invoking (among others) Keats, Kafka, Einstein, Russian cosmonauts, and advice for the housewife of 1897, will you please simply believe me, and read it?" --Michael Cunningham "You can read Jenny Offill's new novel in about two hours. It's short and funny and absorbing, an effortless-seeming downhill ride that picks up astonishing narrative speed as it goes." --The New York Review of Books
Jenny Offill is the author of the novel Last Things, which was chosen as a Notable Book of the Year by The New York Times and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times First Book Award. She teaches in the writing programs at Queens University, Brooklyn College, and Columbia University.
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