What Belongs to You: A Novel

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Longlisted for the National Book Award in Fiction • A Finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction • A Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction • A Finalist for the James Taite Black Prize for Fiction A Finalist the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize • A Finalist for the Green Carnation Prize A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice A Los Angeles Times Bestseller

Named One of the Best Books of the Year by More Than Fifty Publications, Including: The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The New York Times (selected by Dwight Garner), GQ, The Washington Post, Esquire, NPR, Slate, Vulture, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian (London), The Telegraph (London), The Evening Standard (London), The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Miami Herald, The Millions, BuzzFeed, The New Republic (Best Debuts of the Year), Kirkus Reviews, and Publishers Weekly (One of the Ten Best Books of the Year)

"Garth Greenwell's What Belongs to You appeared in early 2016, and is a short first novel by a young writer; still, it was not easily surpassed by anything that appeared later in the year....It is not just first novelists who will be envious of Greenwell's achievement."—James Wood, The New Yorker

On an unseasonably warm autumn day, an American teacher enters a public bathroom beneath Sofia’s National Palace of Culture. There he meets Mitko, a charismatic young hustler, and pays him for sex. He returns to Mitko again and again over the next few months, drawn by hunger and loneliness and risk, and finds himself ensnared in a relationship in which lust leads to mutual predation, and tenderness can transform into violence. As he struggles to reconcile his longing with the anguish it creates, he’s forced to grapple with his own fraught history, the world of his southern childhood where to be queer was to be a pariah. There are unnerving similarities between his past and the foreign country he finds himself in, a country whose geography and griefs he discovers as he learns more of Mitko’s own narrative, his private history of illness, exploitation, and want.

What Belongs to You is a stunning debut novel of desire and its consequences. With lyric intensity and startling eroticism, Garth Greenwell has created an indelible story about the ways in which our pasts and cultures, our scars and shames can shape who we are and determine how we love.

A conversation between Garth Greenwell and Hanya Yanagihara is included inside the e-book edition.

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About the author

GARTH GREENWELL is the author of Mitko, which won the 2010 Miami University Press Novella Prize and was a finalist for the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction Award and a Lambda Award. A native of Louisville, Kentucky, he holds graduate degrees from Harvard University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he was an Arts Fellow. His short fiction has appeared in The Paris Review and A Public Space. What Belongs to You is his first novel.
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Additional Information

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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Published on
Jan 19, 2016
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Fiction / LGBT / Gay
Fiction / Literary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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TOP 10 NOVELS OF THE YEAR -- TIME, Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, BBC, Newsday

ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Barnes & Noble, BookPage, BuzzFeed, Elle, Financial Times, Huffington Post, Kirkus, NPR, Refinery29, Seattle Times, Shelf Awareness, WBUR's On Point

"Haslett is one of the country's most talented writers, equipped with a sixth sense for characterization" --Wall Street Journal

"Ambitious and stirring . . . With Imagine Me Gone, Haslett has reached another level." --New York Times Book Review

From a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist, a ferociously intimate story of a family facing the ultimate question: how far will we go to save the people we love the most?

When Margaret's fiancé, John, is hospitalized for depression in 1960s London, she faces a choice: carry on with their plans despite what she now knows of his condition, or back away from the suffering it may bring her. She decides to marry him. Imagine Me Gone is the unforgettable story of what unfolds from this act of love and faith. At the heart of it is their eldest son, Michael, a brilliant, anxious music fanatic who makes sense of the world through parody. Over the span of decades, his younger siblings -- the savvy and responsible Celia and the ambitious and tightly controlled Alec -- struggle along with their mother to care for Michael's increasingly troubled and precarious existence.

Told in alternating points of view by all five members of the family, this searing, gut-wrenching, and yet frequently hilarious novel brings alive with remarkable depth and poignancy the love of a mother for her children, the often inescapable devotion siblings feel toward one another, and the legacy of a father's pain in the life of a family.

With his striking emotional precision and lively, inventive language, Adam Haslett has given us something rare: a novel with the power to change how we see the most important people in our lives.
“If you’ve ever wondered if love can conquer all, read [this] stunning coming-of-age debut.” — Marie Claire

A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice
Named a Best Book of the Year by
NPR * BuzzFeed * Bustle * Shelf Awareness * Publishers Lunch
“[This] love story has hypnotic power.”—The New Yorker
Ijeoma comes of age as her nation does. Born before independence, she is eleven when civil war breaks out in the young republic of Nigeria. Sent away to safety, she meets another displaced child and they, star-crossed, fall in love. They are from different ethnic communities. They are also both girls. But when their love is discovered, Ijeoma learns that she will have to hide this part of herself—and there is a cost to living inside a lie.

Inspired by Nigeria’s folktales and its war, Chinelo Okparanta shows us, in “graceful and precise” prose (New York Times Book Review), how the struggles and divisions of a nation are inscribed on the souls of its citizens. “Powerful and heartbreaking, Under the Udala Trees is a deeply moving commentary on identity, prejudice, and forbidden love” (BuzzFeed).
“An important and timely read, imbued with both political ferocity and mythic beauty.” — Bustle
“A real talent. [Under the Udala Trees is] the kind of book that should have come with a cold compress kit. It’s sad and sensual and full of heat.” — John Freeman, Electric Literature
“Demands not just to be read, but felt.” — Edwidge Danticat  
Con un inusual virtuosismo estilístico y una cautivadora potencia emocional, esta novela sobre el deseo y sus consecuencias está destinada a convertirse en un clásico.

El espléndido debut de Greenwell ha sido merecedor del British Book Prize, nominado al National Book Award y seleccionado como uno de los mejores libros del año por los principales medios de comunicación estadounidenses.

En los baños públicos del Palacio Nacional de Cultura de Sofía, un profesor de literatura estadounidense conoce a Mitko, un joven magnético a quien paga por sexo. Movido por un deseo incontenible, regresa a Mitko una y otra vez tratando de descifrar la historia personal del joven, marcada por los excesos y la incomprensión de un mundo que apenas le presta atención, pero solo consigue verse atrapado en una relación donde la ternura y el anhelo dan paso a la humillación y al miedo. Mientras lucha por reconciliarse con sus propios sentimientos, una noticia inesperada le fuerza a evocar su traumática adolescencia y la tensa relación con su padre, en una América profunda que tiene similitudes desconcertantes con esta Bulgaria gris y decadente donde ha decidido instalarse.

Lo que te pertenece es una historia indeleble que se mueve por los sombríos rincones de una sociedad marcada por el comunismo y que ahonda en las cicatrices y las culpabilidades del pasado, esas marcas que pueden decidir quiénes somos y cómo amamos.

«Una compasiva reflexión sobre lo escurridizo del deseo y la imposibilidad de la salvación, sobre las fuerzas de la humillación y la culpa y la urgencia que a menudo acompañan al amor, todo formulado con un lenguaje tan bello y vívido como el de la poesía.»
Hanya Yanagihara, autora de Tan poca vida

«Greenwell es comparable a James Baldwin, Alan Hollinghurst, Virginia Woolf y W.G. Sebald. Una y otra vez se llamará a Lo que te pertenece la gran novela gay de nuestra época.»
Hannah Lühmann, Welt am Sonntag

«La novela de Greenwell impresiona por muchas razones [...]. Pero adquiere un poder diferente por su desasosegada atmósfera de inestabilidad psíquica, de confesión y penitencia, del reconocimiento de fuerzas complejas y apenas dominadas que quedan más allá del control consciente incluso de un novelista tan talentoso como este.»
James Wood, The New Yorker

«Destinada a convertirse en un clásico [...].Lo que te pertenece se sitúa de forma natural al lado de grandes obras sobre peligrosas obsesiones sexuales como Muerte en Venecia de Thomas Mann y Lolita de Nabokov.»
Jonathan McAloon, The Telegraph

«En la brillante primera novela de Garth Greenwell, el viejo modo de contar se convierte en algo nuevo y se transforma en puñetazo [...] En su voz hay maestría y fluidez. Parece poseer una habilidad innata para hechizar al lector.»
Dwight Garner, The New York Times

«Escrita con una reflexiva y espléndida prosa, es a la vez un logro formal e íntimo, elevado pero personal, perspicaz pero muy real. Es la mejor novela que he leído en años.»
Andrew Solomon, The Guardian Best Books of 2016

«La valentía emocional se funde con una extraordinaria sensibilidad hasta alcanzar el temblor del arrepentimiento [...]. Al final, una novela como esta no puede albergar otro propósito que su perfecta articulación de la desesperación, algo que cualquiera con corazón podrá entender.»
Ron Charles, Washington Post

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