Tuck is a genius.” Los Angeles Book Review
Lily Tuck has had a wonderful and accomplished career as a National Book Award winning novelist, story writer, essayist and biographer. She is one of our most distinguished contributors to American literature. With The Double Life of Liliane, Tuck writes what may well be her crowning achievement to date, and, significantly too, her most autobiographical work.
As the child of a German movie producer father who lives in Italy and a beautiful, artistically talented mother who resides in New York, Liliane’s life is divided between those two very different worlds. A shy and observant only child with a vivid imagination, Liliane uncovers the stories of family members as diverse as Moses Mendelssohn, Mary Queen of Scots and an early Mexican adventurer, and pieces together their vivid histories, through both World Wars and across continents.
What unfolds is an astonishing and riveting metanarrative: an exploration of self, humanity, and family in the manner of W.G. Sebald and Karl Ove Knausgaard. Told with Tuck’s inimitable elegance and peppered with documents, photos, and a rich and varied array of characters, The Double Life of Liliane is an intimate and poignant coming of age portrait of the writer as a young woman.
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Lily Tuck is the author of five novels: I Married You for Happiness; Interviewing Matisse or the Woman Who Died Standing Up; The Woman Who Walked on Water; Siam, or the Woman Who Shot a Man, nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award; The News From Paraguay, winner of the National Book Award; and the short story collection The House at Belle Fontaine.
Praise for THE DOUBLE LIFE OF LILIANE
"Mixing family lore, historical events, and photographs, this autobiographical novel creates a portrait of the writer as a young woman...enlivening." New Yorker
"Compels the reader to appreciate bare-bones storytelling and minimalist scenes over warts-and-all portraiture and barnstorming set-pieces. Thoughts and deeds matter to Tuck, only the former are stunted and the latter elliptical, and it is up to us to make sense of them. I hope my readers will read my work with imagination,” Tuck said in a recent New York Times piece. For her work to pay dividends, there is no other way to read her...Tuck expertly fuses world history and four-generation family history, fact and fiction. She utilizes photographs, letters, and poetry and engages with and reflects on war, memory, and humanity.... W.G. Sebald looms large over the page...What could have been a messy hodgepodge is instead a graceful ripple-effect, like watching a skimmed stone spawn one neat circle after another, only without any diminishment in size or force...After a fashion we stop questioning how much of what we are reading is memoir and how much of it isn’t, and simply surrender to the elegant, limpid prose of this, the most beguiling work of Lily Tuck’s career." Malcolm Forbes, The Millions
"Intriguing and intelligent...Tuck simultaneously creates a layered portrait of a family and the historical eras it lived through and questions the possibility of definitively capturing or summing up human lives...a high-wire act...exciting in its sweep, ambition, and conceptual intricacy." Priscilla Gilman, Boston Globe
"A mosaic of storytelling that is both poetic and absorbing...Tuck builds her story through compression, intensity and sometimes disorienting side trips...
This recovery of fragments, for this author, involves a near alchemical process: Tuck inhabits the spacious realm of the imagination, shifting time zones and historic periods effortlessly, weaving memories and photographs, family stories and facts, as Liliane's mesmerizing portrait emerges." Jane Ciabattari, NPR.com
"An evocative blend of memoir, history and fiction...On the surface, one might expect that the book’s title refers to Liliane’s feeling of being split in two by virtue of spending two very different childhoods, one with her father in Italy and one with her mother in New York and Maine. But again, that pivotal course with Paul de Man, which culminates the book, hints at a different meaning for the title, referring to the writing I’ and the written I’”. Is the writer identical to her subject? Or, by virtue of narrating her experience and everything that ripples out from it, is she creating a different version of herself? These kinds of provocative questions will preoccupy readers both while they immerse themselves in Liliane’s story and long afterwards." Bookreporter.com
"[An}exquisitely crafted narrative collage." Jane Ciabattari, BBC.com "Ten Books to read in September"
"Playful, buoyant prose and poignant scenes...that quicken the heart...In Tuck’s prose ... lively, dizzy, happy one gets a contagious sense of fun that she has transmuting life into words." Publishers Weekly (starred, boxed review)
Special, provocative, unusual.” Booklist (starred review)
Beautiful and wildly intelligent.” Margot Livesey
With fierce elegance, Lily Tuck boldly dismantles genre boundaries while weaving a seamless narrative from the fragments of her early life. Tuck crosses her physical terrain with candor and psychological acuity. Fact, fiction, memoir, novel, prose, poetry I've never read anything like it. An achingly intelligent work that is, in the words of Liliane's professor Paul de Man, an act of self-restoration.’” Jamie Quatro
A triumph of artistry and storytelling. An entirely engrossing novel that draws upon Lily Tuck’s amazing personal history. A brilliant blend of fact and fiction.” Diane Johnson
Praise for THE HOUSE AT BELLE FONTAINE
Evocative stories of beautiful language and masterful economy Tuck’s unflinching eye to detail and faithful ear for dialogue bring to life the brutal, the tragic, and the melancholy.” S. Kirk Walsh, The Boston Globe
Tuck packs a small universe and decades of emotional history into each story.” Stephan Lee, Entertainment Weekly
"Poetic and absorbing stories . . . [A] must read." Rebecca Lee, The Daily Beast
"Tuck's fundamental focus [is] on the vicissitudes of relationships between men and women and in this she is a master." Shelf Awareness
Compact, intense, and finely crafted.” Publishers Weekly
Impressive work from a virtuoso.” Kirkus Reviews
Praise for I MARRIED YOU FOR HAPPINESS
"One of the most beautiful love songs in novel form you'll ever read . . . Tuck is a genius with moments . . . Her ability to capture beauty will remind readers of Margaret Yourcenar and Marguerite Duras." Los Angeles Book Review
"[A] moving narrative . . . Poetic and absorbing . . . The final passages, as dawn breaks in thie new widow's life, as re a rare and elegant affirmation of the transcendence of love." The Daily Beast
"Beautiful . . . Tuck produces spare prose that doesn't sacrifice tension or emotion in its economy. . . . An artfully crafted still life of one couple's marraige." Boston Globe
"Sweet, tender and compelling." Chicago Tribune (Best Books of the Year)
"This slim brush of a book manages to accomplish in a mere 200-plus pages what many novelists try to do in twice the verbiage. . . . Examines the disguises and surprises that energize a lasting marriage." The Seattle Times
"An elegant vigil . . . A poised, readable, immediate novel." The Guardian
"Luminous . . . Spare but deep." NPR
"A magical, truthful tale." Huffington Post (Best Upcoming Books for Fall)
"Captivating . . . Absorbing . . . Strikes a chord." The Washington Post
"Fearless and absorbing . . . What Tuck has captured so deftly is the essence of a bereaved wandering mind, with its detours and tangents. . . . Intense, brutal, and stunning." The Portland Press Herald
"The writing is lyrical and striking, vividly capturing the nature of memory and the way in which love, though never simple, is contained and proven in the small, indelible moments of our lives. . . . This slim, magnificent novel is rarefied by its heartbreaking immediacy, and the moving, aching stream of consciousness chronicles not only the psychology of shock and mourning, but also the minute-by-minute way in which Nine begins to put life as she knows it in the past tense." BookPage
A breathlessly mannered, affecting new work . . . Small, vital snapshots make up two lives closely shared, and beautifully portrayed in this triumph of a novel." Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"A tender look at marriage, mathematics, life and death, and the intricacies of love . . . I Married You for Happiness elegiac and joyful simultaneously a love letter to this marriage and to the idea of marriage in general." Book Browse
"Tuck's crisp writing is a joy." Kirkus Reviews
"A full and satisfying potrayal of a marriage . . . Great fodder for readers who enjoy pondering life's larger questions.” Library Journal
"Affecting, original . . . Rich in sentiment, poignancy, and honesty." Booklist
"Tuck is an elegant, spare writer who limns her characters in a few swift sentences. . . . Her ability to work mathematical concepts into a literary novel is impressive. . . . For the unmarried, I Married You for Happiness will do what great fiction does: draw you into another's life, allowing you to inhabit it vicariously, emerging with an increased understanding of something previously unknown. If you are happily married, your worst fears about your spouse predeceasing you will be miserably, brightly illuminated, the better you may see them in the harshly brilliant light of quality fiction." PopMatters
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