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Viking Books (2019-08-27)
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by Staudt, Elizabeth, Ames

This wise debut novel examines the worst mistakes made by four friends from their wild college days to their far more feral days as new parents.

Lainey, Ji Sun, Alice, and Margaret arrive at the prestigious Quincy-Hawthorn College shaped by deeply disparate kinds of love from their families of origin, but quickly fall into an encompassing love with one another. Their friendship is forged in joy and fused in fear, as, after a party, the four make a fairytale escape from an encroaching threat. Later, the threats they face shift, originating from beyond the dark forests of their childhoods, and coming instead from institutions, from one another, and ultimately, from within themselves.

The novel explores the worst acts of Alice, Ji Sun, Margaret, and Lainey with one part devoted to each mistake: the Accident, the Accusation, the Kiss, and the Bite and the ways in which these acts intersect, forcing the friends to reshape both as a group and as individuals as they discover what they and their loved ones are capable of. The novel asks: How do we live with the pain that we cause? How are we all both the imperiled and the peril itself? How do we live with our worst mistakes and how do we live with those who make them?

Though the novel interrogates dark decisions, it is also a joyful, big-hearted book, with evocative, incisive writing that will appeal to Lorrie Moore devotees; a rich exploration of interior lives and relationships that readers of Meg Wolitzer and Elizabeth Strout will relish; and characters who will become to the reader, if not friends, deep familiars. I hope you will find its questions to be as urgent as I do.

Elizabeth Ames Staudt is graduate of the University of Michigan MFA program, where she won two Hopwood Awards. Her short stories have appeared in Ninth Letter and Third Coast. She currently lives in a Harvard dormitory with her husband, toddler, and a few hundred undergraduates. This is her first novel.

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A sharply-drawn portrait of a lifelong friendship, THE OTHER'S GOLD follows four young women bearing past traumas and navigating unimagined futures. With an uncanny eye for detail, Elizabeth Ames charts the complex, ever-shifting topography of this "chosen family" -- and illuminates the ways our closest friends sustain us over the course of our lives.

Quote: Celeste Ng, author of Everything I Never Told You and Little Fires Everywhere

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