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What Are You Going Through

A girl describes a sequence of encounters she has with diverse humans withinside the regular direction of her life: an ex she runs into via way of means of hazard at a public forum, an Airbnb proprietor uncertain a way to engage together along with her guests, a stranger who seeks assist comforting his aged mother, a chum of her young people now hospitalized with terminal cancer. In every of those humans the girl reveals a not unusualplace need: the urge to speak approximately themselves and to have an target target market to their experiences. The narrator orchestrates this refrain of voices for the maximum element as a passive listener, till one in every of them makes an exceptional request, drawing her into an excessive and transformative revel in of her own.In What Are You Going Through, Nunez brings wisdom, humor, and perception to a singular approximately human connection and the converting nature of relationships in our times. A unexpected tale approximately empathy and the uncommon methods one individual can assist every other thru hardship, her ee-e book gives a shifting and provocative portrait of the manner we stay now.

Description

 
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published September 8th 2020 by Riverhead Books
Original Title
What Are You Going Through
ISBN
0593191412 (ISBN13: 9780593191415)
 

Heading Out Review

Don’t be deceived with the aid of using the brevity of Sigrid Nunez’s new novel, What Are You Going Through. Like its National Book Award-prevailing predecessor, The Friend, this great portrait of woman friendship, growing old and loss packs extra perception into its slightly two hundred pages than many severe novels two times that length.

The novel’s unnamed narrator is a writer whose middle-elderly friend, demise of cancer (“fatal,” as she prefers to mention instead of “terminal”), asks her to function a accomplice withinside the New England apartment residence wherein she plans to stop her lifestyles with a “euthanasia drug”—while she confesses that “you weren’t my first choice” for this tough assignment. Over the route of the succeeding weeks, with a “new intimacy that made secrets and techniques and lies intolerable,” and that at numerous moments is touching, profound or even wryly humorous, the girls bond over shared testimonies in their lives, vintage movies, music and fairy tales, in some thing the narrator’s ex-companion observes “does sound a touch like a sitcom. Lucy and Ethel Do Euthanasia.”

Borrowing the outlet line of Ford Madox Ford’s novel The Good Soldier—“This is the saddest tale I even have ever heard”—Nunez confronts the truth of demise with out succumbing to despair. Whether she’s summarizing the fantastic plot of a serial killer potboiler or recounting a communique among the narrator and a “as soon as stunning woman” on the gym, she’s an economical, sleek storyteller. She additionally touches lightly however provocatively on topics like weather change, the #MeToo movement and the malign impact of Fox News on one aged woman’s psyche, then eases her tale alongside nearly earlier than we realise it.

Sooner than she might like, the narrator faces the truth that what she’s come to consider as a “fairy tale” will stop, and that, paradoxically, “the saddest time that has additionally been one of the happiest instances in my lifestyles will pass. And I’ll be alone.” It’s an excellent wager that maximum readers will percentage that equal wistful feeling after they attain the novel’s very last page.

 

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