I’m delighted to share with you an extraordinary novel by Allison Amend, a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop whose first novel, Stations West (LSU Press), was a finalist for the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature and the Oklahoma Book Award. Set amid the rarefied international art world, A Nearly Perfect Copy is as sharply funny as it is morally serious, exploring notions of ancestry and authenticity while fusing together two narratives that encompass art fraud and human cloning. When I first read the manuscript I was struck by Allison’s incredible gift for observation, her ear for dialogue, her engagement with ethical issues, and her innovative execution, whether in creating a dexterous sentence or a curve-ball plot twist. I especially enjoyed her depiction of the creative life and all its attendant worries: the battle for artistic recognition, the petty jealousies, and the desire to create something sublime.
But don’t just take my word for it:
“Allison Amend has given us a flawlessly rendered, totally engrossing, class-and-continent hopping story … Every scene, every page, every passage of this novel has been written with the stunning clarity and great humanity of a true artist at the height of her abilities.”
—Charles Bock, New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Children
“Just when you think you know where A Nearly Perfect Copy is going, it swerves, like life, in some new direction. Allison Amend has packed this book with wit, style, yearning, risk, damage, truth, and compassion, and populated it with characters who breathe with their own individual mystery.”
—Kevin Brockmeier, author of The Brief History of the Dead
“Amend is a brilliant storyteller, whose pitch-perfect observations call to mind Jonathan Franzen and Jennifer Egan. The razor sharp exploration of contemporary mores make for a truly masterful read. I loved, loved, loved it.”
—Joanna Smith Rakoff, author of A Fortunate Age
“Allison Amend is a gifted storyteller—no, more than gifted. Her writing is powerful enough to create its own kind of weather. Her characters are so real it’s as if you could reach between the pages and shake hands with them.”
—Hannah Tinti, author of The Good Thief
I hope you’ll love the book just as much! Feel free to check out our Reader’s Guide, and visit Allison on the web and on Facebook. Allison will be giving her first reading from the book at Brooklyn’s BookCourt on April 11 at 7pm.
Nan A. Talese/Doubleday