The Book of Dahlia: A Novel
From the author of the critically acclaimed story collection How This Night Is Different comes a dark, arresting, fearlessly funny story of one young woman's terminal illness. In The Book of Dahlia, Elisa Albert walks a dazzling line between gravitas and irreverence, mining an exhilarating blend of skepticism and curiosity, compassion and candor, high and low culture.
Meet Dahlia Finger: twenty-nine, depressed, whip-smart, occasionally affable, bracingly honest, resolutely single, and perennially unemployed. She spends her days stoned in front of the TV, watching the same movies repeatedly, like "a form of prayer." But Dahlia's so-called life is upended by an aggressive, inoperable brain tumor.
Stunned and uncomprehending, Dahlia must work toward reluctant emotional reckoning with the aid of a questionable self-help guide. She obsessively revisits the myriad heartbreaks, disappointments, rages, and regrets that comprise the story of her life -- from her parents' haphazard Israeli courtship to her kibbutz conception; from the role of beloved daughter and little sister to that of abandoned, suicidal adolescent; from an affluent childhood in Los Angeles to an aimless existence in the gentrified wilds of Brooklyn; from a girl with "options" to a girl with none -- convinced that cancer struck because she herself is somehow at fault.
With her take-no-prisoners perspective, her depressive humor, and her extreme vulnerability, Dahlia Finger is an unforgettable anti-heroine. This staggering portrait of one young woman's life and death confirms Elisa Albert as a "witty, incisive" (Variety) and even "wonder-inducing" writer (Time Out New York).
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - SqueakyChu - LibraryThing
I was attracted to The Book of Dahlia after I finished reading this author’s debut book of short stories. Her unique voice is loud and clear. It becomes even more defined in this novel about a twenty ... Read full review
THE BOOK OF DAHLIAUser Review - Jane Doe - Kirkus
The author of the story collection How This Night Is Different (2006) considers mortality in her first novel.A typical day for 29-year-old Dahlia Finger revolves around toaster pastries, weed and ... Read full review
Forgive and Forget
Find a Support System
Evaluate Your Relationships