One of our recommended books for 2020 is Weather by Jenny Offill

WEATHER

A Novel


From the beloved author of the nationwide best seller Dept. of Speculation—one of the New York Times Book Review‘s Ten Best Books of the Year—a “darkly funny and urgent” (NPR) tour de force about a family, and a nation, in crisis.

Lizzie Benson slid into her job as a librarian without a traditional degree. But this gives her a vantage point from which to practice her other calling: she is a fake shrink. For years she has tended to her God-haunted mother and her recovering addict brother. They have both stabilized for the moment,

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From the beloved author of the nationwide best seller Dept. of Speculation—one of the New York Times Book Review‘s Ten Best Books of the Year—a “darkly funny and urgent” (NPR) tour de force about a family, and a nation, in crisis.

Lizzie Benson slid into her job as a librarian without a traditional degree. But this gives her a vantage point from which to practice her other calling: she is a fake shrink. For years she has tended to her God-haunted mother and her recovering addict brother. They have both stabilized for the moment, but Lizzie has little chance to spend her new free time with husband and son before her old mentor, Sylvia Liller, makes a proposal. Sylvia has become famous for her prescient podcast, Hell and High Water, and wants to hire Lizzie to answer the mail she receives: from left-wingers worried about climate change and right-wingers worried about the decline of western civilization.

As Lizzie dives into this polarized world, she begins to wonder what it means to keep tending your own garden once you’ve seen the flames beyond its walls. When her brother becomes a father and Sylvia a recluse, Lizzie is forced to address the limits of her own experience—but still she tries to save everyone, using everything she’s learned about empathy and despair, conscience and collusion, from her years of wandering the library stacks . . . And all the while the voices of the city keep floating in—funny, disturbing, and increasingly mad.

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  • Knopf
  • Hardcover
  • February 2020
  • 224 Pages
  • 9780385351102

Buy the Book

$23.95

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About Jenny Offill

Jenny Offill is the author of Weather, credit Emily TobeyJenny Offill is the author of the novels Last Things (a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and a finalist for the L.A. Times First Book Award), and Dept. of Speculation, which was shortlisted for the Folio Prize, the Pen Faulkner Award and the International Dublin Award. She lives in upstate New York and teaches at Syracuse University and in the low residency program at Queens University.

Praise

Instant New York Times bestseller
One of the Wall Street Journal Magazine’s 10 must-read books this winter
Esquire.com’s “Best Books of 2020”

“Brilliant… Offill’s writing is brisk and comic, and her book’s format underlines her gifts. “Weather” is her most soulful book…  [Her] humor is saving humor; it’s as if she’s splashing vinegar to deglaze a pan.” —The New York Times

“Jenny Offill is the master of novels told in sly, burnished fragments… In Offill’s hands, the form becomes something new, a method of distilling experience into its brightest, most blazing forms — atoms of intense feeling… these fragments feel like: teeming worlds suspended in white space, entire novels condensed into paragraphs… What she is doing is coming as close as anyone ever has to writing the very nature of being itself… “Weather” transforms the novel of consciousness into a record of climate grief.” –Parul Sehgal, The New York Times profile

“Time flies by in this wry story of a family—librarian Lizzie, her classics buff husband, their son, and her brother, a recovering addict. Apocalypse (climate and otherwise) looms over the narrative, and yet it is funny and hopeful too.” –Vanity Fair

“We named Offill’s previous novel, the shrewd and genre-destroying Dept. of Speculation, as a book every woman should read; this follow-up, a sort of spiritual sequel, solidifies the author’s place among the vanguard of writers who are reinvigorating literature.” –O The Oprah Magazine

“Compact and wholly contemporary, Jenny Offill’s third novel sees a librarian find deep meaning and deep despair in her side gig as an armchair therapist for those in existential crisis, including liberals fearing climate apocalypse and conservatives fearing the demise of ‘American values.’ As she attempts to save everyone, our protagonist is driven to her limits, making for a canny, comic story about the power of human need.” Esquire

“Tiny in size but immense in scope, radically disorienting yet reassuringly humane, strikingly eccentric and completely irresistible…utterly exhilarating in its wit and intelligence…luminous.” –The Boston Globe

“Genius… [A] lapidary masterwork… Remarkable and resonant… The right novel for the end of the world.” –The LA Times