With a foreword by David Lodge
Leonard, a young writer drifting through the city, meets Sylvia by chance at a friend’s shabby Greenwich Village apartment. He’s instantly besotted with her striking beauty and quiet disdain, and the question of what to do with his life is resolved.
In this remarkable semi-autobiographical novel, we are drawn into the world of a beatnik couple living in Manhattan in the early 1960s, and their demi-monde of jazz, poetry, late nights and early mornings. But when Sylvia’s depression emerges and her disturbances take hold, their fights become increasingly violent and their relationship hurtles towards self-destruction.
Written with extraordinary clarity and precision, this is a compelling portrait of the mad intensity, exquisite pain, and destructive power of young love.
Read the first chapter here.
‘A minor masterpiece . . . This short novel is terrifying, beautiful and addictive.’ – Ian McEwan
‘Every page reveals the mark of an extraordinarily original and gifted talent.’ – William Styron
'Narrated with all guns blazing.’ – Daily Mail
‘A novel that has the power and the rawness of memoir.’ – New York Times
‘I know of no better, more honest account of a doomed, tumultuous love.’ – David Bezmozgis
‘The writing isn’t merely stylish; it’s vital . . . the ending is as shocking as that of any thriller.’ – Sarah Manguso
‘Leonard Michael’s tersely lyrical prose is as beautifully honed as that of any contemporary novelist who comes to mind.’ – Francine du Plessix Gray