I have a hard time believing that any of the National Book Award judges this year read this book all the way through. This is such a big, bold, unsettling, artful yet thoroughly entertaining novel. Homes manages a major feat here, taking us deep inside the darker and more disturbing parts of our America suburban lives and brings us out the other end to what could hardly be imagined at the beginning of the novel: a happy ending.
“Homes' latest darkly comic novel is more poignant and moving than it appears at first glimpse, and the rudderless, hapless Nixon scholar Harold Silver's year in the wilderness is more eye-opening than he can at first admit to himself. As Harry grows and grieves in his own way over the course of the insanity-laced year, we are happily along for the ride, unquestioningly loving the person he becomes. A truly remarkable feat of storytelling that both pulsates with the underlying ache of loss and manages to crack a couple of your ribs when you laugh too hard.”
— Seth Marko, UCSD Bookstore, La Jolla, CA
Winner of the 2013 Women's Prize for Fiction--A darkly comic novel of twenty-first-century domestic life by a writer who is always "compelling, devastating, and furiously good" (Zadie Smith) Harold Silver has spent a lifetime watching his younger brother, George, a taller, smarter, and more successful high-flying TV executive, acquire a covetable wife, two kids, and a beautiful home in the suburbs of New York City. But Harry, a historian and Nixon scholar, also knows George has a murderous temper, and when George loses control the result is an act of violence so shocking that both brothers are hurled into entirely new lives in which they both must seek absolution. Harry finds himself suddenly playing parent to his brother's two adolescent children, tumbling down the rabbit hole of Internet sex, dealing with aging parents who move through time like travelers on a fantastic voyage. As Harry builds a twenty-first-century family created by choice rather than biology, we become all the more aware of the ways in which our history, both personal and political, can become our destiny and either compel us to repeat our errors or be the catalyst for change. May We Be Forgiven is an unnerving, funny tale of unexpected intimacies and of how one deeply fractured family might begin to put itself back together.
About the Author
A.M. Homes was born in Washington D.C. graduated from Sarah Lawrence College and the University of Iowa, lives in New York City and teaches at Princeton University. Her work appears in ArtForum, Granta, The Guardian, McSweeney's, Modern Painters, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Electric Literature, Playboy, and Zoetrope. She works in television, most recently as as Co-Executive Producer of Falling Water and Stephen King's Mr. Mercedes, and is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair. She is the recipient of awards including the Guggenheim, NEA, and NYFA fellowships. Her most recent novel, May We Be Forgiven, won the Women's Prize for Fiction, 2013, and has been optioned for film by Unanimous Entertainment.