Book tip: "The Friend" by Sigrid Nunez

Get the weekly rundown
Sign up to receive THE FUN never stops!, our weekly A&E newsletter

Book tip

The Friend

Sigrid Nunez

The Merrill House folks have always done a fine job of selecting the authors who are honored with Writer-in-Residence fellowships. Sigrid Nunez, for example, is a superb novelist. But probably not even the late Robert Merrill, who reportedly used a Ouija board, could have forecast that Nunez would win a National Book Award WHILE SHE WAS IN RESIDENCE at the Merrill House for her wonderful novel "The Friend." On the surface, the story is a melancholy and wistful love note from the unnamed narrator to a friend who recently committed suicide. The structure expands cleverly and pointedly as both these characters are/were established writers in the Manhattan literary scene, and the protagonist's anecdotes, observations and historical asides are at once snarky jibes about the realities of publishing as well as astonishing short portraits of the lives and works of great writers of yore. Tying all this together is that the narrator inherits her late friend's Great Dane Apollo and must acclimate herself to the reality of living with a giant dog in her 500-square-foot walk-up. By nature a cat person, she gradually adapts to the presence of the animal — who is indeed mourning the loss of his master, as well — and their evolving and therapeutic relationship becomes a gorgeous meditation on the magical bonds between dogs and people. This book explores so many nuances of life, aging and our times in remarkable and beautifully eloquent ways.

READER COMMENTS

Loading comments...
Hide Comments

Stories that may interest you

The drama productions at Norwich Free Academy are ever-expanding

The cast is expansive, consisting of 26 students. Another 20 to 30 teens are working behind the scenes.


Big Tickets

Upcoming concerts and shows


Mumble rapper Kodak Black performs Thursday at Foxwoods

EDITOR'S NOTE: Thursday's Kodak Black show at Foxwoods has been cancelled. Tickets purchased with a credit card over the web, phone or at the box office will automatically be refunded within the next 48 hours. This includes Ticketmaster tickets. Tickets purchased with cash will need to be...


Beyoncé drops ‘Homecoming’ surprise album alongside Netflix special

Beyoncé offered fans a surprise Wednesday morning, releasing a live album companion to her previously announced “Homecoming” Netflix special, documenting her appearances at Coachella last year.

TRENDING

PODCASTS