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The Study of Animal Languages

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Brief Description:

“Ivan is a tightly wound philosophy professor whose reverence for logic and order governs not only his academic interests, but also his closest relationships. His wife, Prue, is quite the opposite: a pioneer in the emerging field of biolinguistics, she is young and beautiful, full of life and feeling. Thus far, they have managed to weather their differences. But lately, an odd distance has settled in between them. Might it have something to do with the arrival of the college’s dashing but insufferable new writer-in-residence, whose novel Prue always seems to be reading? Into this delicate moment barrels Ivan’s unstable father-in-law, Frank, in town to hear Prue deliver a lecture on birdsong that is set to cement her tenure application. But the talk doesn’t go as planned, unleashing a series of crises that force Ivan to finally confront the problems in his marriage, and to begin to fight–at last–for what he holds dear”

Brief Description:

Written with fearless emotional precision…I’d say that this novel was an auspicious debut were it not for the fact that Stern seems to have appeared fully formed as a writer, alert to our weaknesses, our moral missteps and the ways in which the mind and the heart so often work at cross-purposes.”
–MARISA SILVER, author of Mary Coin and Little Nothing

 

Review Quotes:

NAMED ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2019 BY VANITY FAIR, SOUTHERN LIVING AND LITHUBNAMED ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF FEBRUARY BY NYLON AND BUSTLE

“An unabashedly smart philosophical exploration and affecting psychological portrait of the strains of a marriage. Finely wrought, marvelously dramatic, riveting–a debut of stunning maturity.”
–AYANA MATHIS, author of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

“Artful and astute, funny and unnerving, The Study of Animal Languages brilliantly captures how easily we can mistake our impressions of the world, and the models we make of them, for the world itself. A knockout.” 
PAUL HARDING, author of Tinkers

“A fascinating, original meditation on a human relationship and the non-human world from a very talented new writer. Quietly provocative.”
–JEFF VANDERMEER, author of The Southern Reach Trilogy

“Calls to mind the sly humor of Ishiguro and Nabokov. I loved this novel.”
ELIZABETH MCKENZIE, author of The Portable Veblen

“Stern has skillfully provided a true understanding of how missteps and mistakes can lead to clarity, honesty, and relief — the happiest ending of all.”
— WASHINGTON INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF BOOKS

“Thought-provoking…A taut, brainy tale that tracks the breakdown of an academic couple’s marriage while dissecting differences between language and communication, knowledge and truth, madness and inspiration.”
— PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

Review Citations:
  • Library Journal 02/01/2019 pg. 84 (EAN 9780525557432, Hardcover)
  • Booklist 11/01/2018 pg. 35 (EAN 9780525557432, Hardcover)
  • Publishers Weekly 12/10/2018 (EAN 9780525557432, Hardcover)
  • Kirkus Reviews 12/15/2018 (EAN 9780525557432, Hardcover)
  • Library Journal 02/01/2019 pg. 84 (EAN 9780525557449, Other)

Contributor Bio: Lindsay Stern

is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the recipient of a Watson Fellowship and an Amy Award from Poets & Writers magazine. She is currently pursuing a PhD in comparative literature at Yale University. The Study of Animal Languages is her first novel.

Type

Paperback, Audio, Hardcover