Items related to Dept. of Speculation

Offill, Jenny Dept. of Speculation

ISBN 13: 9780385350815

Dept. of Speculation

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9780385350815: Dept. of Speculation
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Dept. of Speculation is a portrait of a marriage. It is also a beguiling rumination on the mysteries of intimacy, trust, faith, knowledge, and the condition of universal shipwreck that unites us all.

Jenny Offill’s heroine, referred to in these pages as simply “the wife,” once exchanged love letters with her husband postmarked Dept. of Speculation, their code name for all the uncertainty that inheres in life and in the strangely fluid confines of a long relationship. As they confront an array of common catastrophes—a colicky baby, a faltering marriage, stalled ambitions—the wife analyzes her predicament, invoking everything from Keats and Kafka to the thought experiments of the Stoics to the lessons of doomed Russian cosmonauts. She muses on the consuming, capacious experience of maternal love, and the near total destruction of the self that ensues from it as she confronts the friction between domestic life and the seductions and demands of art.

With cool precision, in language that shimmers with rage and wit and fierce longing, Jenny Offill has crafted an exquisitely suspenseful love story that has the velocity of a train hurtling through the night at top speed. Exceptionally lean and compact, Dept. of Speculation is a novel to be devoured in a single sitting, though its bracing emotional insights and piercing meditations on despair and love will linger long after the last page.

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Review:

'A short, intense, poetic look at modern life, marriage and motherhood. This is a book to be read in one sitting, but also the sort of book that you want to read with a pencil in hand to underline the many very brilliant lines. Painful, questing, wise and funny.' --'Ones to Watch in 2014', Bookseller

'With exceptional originality, intensity and sweetness, Dept. of Speculation is a shattered novel that stabs and sparkles at the same time. It is the kind of book that you will be quoting over and over to friends who don't quite understand, until they give in and read it too' --John Self, Guardian

'It's often extremely funny and often painful; earnestly direct but glancingly ironic... Dept. of Speculation is all the powerful because it first appears slight. Its depth and intensity make a stealthy purchase on the reader' --James Wood, New Yorker

Profoundly moving... Offill nails life to the page. She's good on falling in love. She's good on the poleaxing exhaustion of early motherhood. But she's at her best on the grim, "stateless" no-man's-land between being a wife and becoming a divorcee. And if all of this bleakness makes you quest, don't be. Offill is also sharply witty and there is a happy ending' --Intelligent Life

'Beautiful, carefully crafted... The effect is poetic in its beauty and intensity. It is also very funny. It is about life, unvarnished, yet every bit of it made profound by Offill's glorious prose' --Financial Times

'Dense with intelligence and life... Offill is incisive on the pleasures, terrors and frustrations of parenthood. Although the book is often sad, it is also funny. It reveals depth and beauty in small, mundane things' --Prospect

'Arresting... In one section, I cried both times I read it' --3AM Magazine

'Magnificent and very funny... Dept. of Speculation is the sort of book which, if you went through it with a pencil, underlining quotable lines, would end up being entirely underlined. I finished it in one sitting then went straight back to the beginning' --Irish Sunday Independent

'Arresting... In one section, I cried both times I read it' --3AM Magazine

'A fast-paced and fragmented text... Such observed moments of boredom, joy and terror are the triumph of this novel, spilling panic, pain and confusion of marriage and motherhood on to the page' **** --Sunday Telegraph

'Arresting... In one section, I cried both times I read it' --3AM Magazine

'Brilliant... oddly invigorating, like a strong martini' --'Top Summer Reads', Metro

'Arresting... In one section, I cried both times I read it' --3AM Magazine

'Brilliant, risk-taking and thought-provoking... Offill has a gift for saying something extraordinary in a handful of words [and] tells it with mesmerising skill. Dept of Speculation is astute and affecting. Offill has created a masterpiece that is philosophical, funny and moving' --Irish Times

'Offill has pinned down the bewildering wonder of new motherhood in sentences that are tense and precise. The fragmentary structure of the novel perfectly conjures the scattered thoughts of a creative mind, scooping up all in its wake' --Times Literary Supplement

'Very funny, very sad' --'Books of the Year', Daily Telegraph

'I absolutely adored it. It's like nothing I've ever read. Even though it's a small book, it builds up to something great' --Doon Mackichan, BBC Radio 4's A Good Read

'I have read and re-read Jenny Offill's ingenious, moving and refreshing Dept of Speculation. It manages to reinvent the whole medium of the novel. And that's certainly not something you see every day' --'Book of the Year', Maggie O'Farrell, Sunday Herald

'Dept of Speculation is a delectable and generous book' --Book of the year, Irish Times

'Offill's book delicately examines the minutiae of a modern marriage. With so much conveyed in so few words, it's simply brilliant' --Book of the year in the Stylist

'This is probably my favourite new book this year. Aphoristic, dazzling and inventive, Dept. of Speculation has more jokes in it than any other book I read this year, but doesn't sacrifice resonance' --Book of the year chosen by John Self, Asylum

About the Author:

Jenny Offill is the author of the novel Last Things, which was chosen as a Notable Book of the Year by The New York Timesand was a finalist for the L.A. Times First Book Award. She is the coeditor, withElissa Schappell, of two anthologies of essays, The Friend Who Got Away and Money Changes Everything. Her children’s books include 17 Things I’m Not Allowed to Do Anymore, 11 Experiments That Failed,and Sparky. She teaches in the writing programs at Queens University, Brooklyn College, andColumbia University.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780345806871: Dept. of Speculation (Vintage Contemporaries)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10: 0345806875 ISBN 13: 9780345806871
Publisher: Vintage, 2014
Softcover

9781847088741: Dept. of Speculation

Granta, 2015
Softcover

9781847088734: Dept. of Speculation

Granta, 2014
Hardcover

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