2016 National Book Award Longlist, Fiction
Imagine Me Gone
(Little, Brown and Company/Hachette Book Group)
National Book Foundation: Who did you write this book for?
Adam Haslett: In truth, I wrote it for myself. We always do, of course, write the books we want to read, but this was the book I very much needed to write to come to terms with my own experience. And for that reason it was the most cathartic work I have ever done.
ABOUT THE BOOK
When Margaret’s fiancé, John, is hospitalized for depression in 1960s London, she faces a choice: carry on with their plans despite what she now knows of his condition, or back away from the suffering it may bring her. She decides to marry him. Imagine Me Gone is the unforgettable story of what unfolds from this act of love and faith. At the heart of it is their eldest son, Michael, a brilliant, anxious music fanatic, who makes sense of the world through parody, and the story of how, over the span of decades, his younger siblings—the savvy and responsible Celia, and the ambitious and tightly controlled Alec—struggle with their mother to care for Michael’s increasingly troubled and precarious existence.
With his striking emotional precision and lively, inventive language, Adam Haslett has given us something rare: a novel with the power to change how you see the most important people in your life.
About the Author
Adam Haslett is the author of three works of fiction: the short story collection You Are Not a Stranger Here, which was a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist; the novel Union Atlantic, winner of the Lambda Literary Award and shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize.
His books have been translated into eighteen languages, and his journalism and fiction have appeared in The Financial Times, Esquire, New York Magazine, The New Yorker, The Guardian, Der Spiegel, The Nation, The Atlantic Monthly, and Best American Short Stories. He has been awarded the Berlin Prize by the American Academy in Berlin, a Guggenheim fellowship, and the PEN/Malamud and PEN/Winship Awards. In 2016, he received the Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters. A graduate of Swarthmore College, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and Yale Law School, he has been a visiting professor at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and Columbia University. He lives in New York City.
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