Familiar: A Novel

Front Cover
Graywolf Press, Oct 2, 2012 - Fiction - 224 pages
8 Reviews

A haunting, enigmatic novel about a woman who is given a second chance—and isn't sure whether she really wants it * A Publishers Weekly "Indie Sleeper" * A Powell's Indiespensable Pick * The Nervous Breakdown's October Book Club Pick *

Elisa Brown is driving back from her annual, somber visit to her son Silas's grave when something changes. Actually, everything changes: her body is more voluptuous; she's wearing different clothes and driving a new car. When she arrives home, her life is familiar—but different. There is her house, her husband. But in the world she now inhabits, Silas is no longer dead, and his brother is disturbingly changed. Elisa has a new job, and her marriage seems sturdier, and stranger, than she remembers. She finds herself faking her way through a life she is convinced is not her own. Has she had a psychotic break? Or has she entered a parallel universe? Elisa believed that Silas was doomed from the start, but now that he is alive, what can she do to repair her strained relations with her children? She soon discovers that these questions hinge on being able to see herself as she really is—something that might be impossible for Elisa, or for anyone. In Familiar, J. Robert Lennon continues his profound and exhilarating exploration of the surreal undercurrents of contemporary American life.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ehines - LibraryThing

Judging by just two novels read, Lennon has turned himself into a pretty serious genre writer. What means that? Well, someone who uses the elements of genre fiction as a vehicle for (intelligent ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bobbieharv - LibraryThing

A strange book that I expected to like more than I did, because it was sort of about the nature of reality: a woman whose son has died suddenly finds herself plopped into a different world, where her ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 11
Section 12
Section 13
Section 14
Section 15
Section 16
Section 17
Section 18

Section 9
Section 10
Section 19
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

J. Robert Lennon is the author of seven novels, including Castle and Mailman, and a story collection, Pieces for the Left Hand. His fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, Granta, Harper's Magazine, Playboy, and The New Yorker. He lives in Ithaca, New York, where he teaches writing at Cornell University.

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