Imprint:Bond Street Books
Audience:General / adult
Dimensions:9.6in x 6.5 x 1.37 in | 1.76 lb
Page Count:464 pages
BREAKOUT NOVELIST: Atticus Lish shocked the literary world with the success of his first novel, Preparation for the Next Life, which was published by a small press and was the surprise winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Grand Prix de Littérature Américaine. With this new novel, he is poised for breakout commercial success as well as even greater critical acclaim.
SUSPENSE: This novel is both a literary coming-of-age story and a gripping page-turner: amidst the portrait of family life are ominous signs that lead us seamlessly into an unputdownable crime story.
EXTRAORDINARY CRITICAL ACCLAIM: Preparation for the Next Life has been described as “the finest and most unsentimental love story of the new decade” (The New York Times) and as having “the boundless, epic exhilaration you expect to find only in a writer as mighty as, say, Walt Whitman” (The New York Review of Books).
SETTING: Lish draws Boston, Cambridge and the surrounding towns with impeccable detail and rich insight—the cities’ ivory towers, underground crime and scrappy working-class pride are evoked with the compelling mystique of movies like The Town, Black Mass and Good Will Hunting, and with unique novelistic style.
A Publishers Weekly Top 10 Book of 2021
Named one of the best books of 2021 by Amazon • Kirkus Reviews • The New York Times Book Review
“A deeply immersive novel.” —The Washington Post
“Profoundly affecting…From [The War for Gloria’s] hypnotic opening pages, we find ourselves in the sure hands of a roaming omniscient narrator, one who knows intimately the beating hearts of its two central characters…. Lish’s substantial gifts, first shown in his acclaimed debut novel, Preparation for the Next Life, are in abundant display here and throughout this gorgeously written book—his ability to render urban landscapes, the weather and its subtle effects on the emotions of his characters, the textural experience of poverty and class stratification in our early-21st-century America, physical labor, as well as physical and psychic violence. All of this is captured by a passionate narrative voice that has clearly been around, one that intimately knows not only the rigors of confined combat in a cage fight but also the bruised and hungry heart of a woman yearning to fulfill her potential before she dies. But at the core of The War for Gloria is the unforgettable character of Corey, a young man who is left to care for his dying mother alone, a boy who is hurled into the hard streets to find his solitary way. With this, only his second novel, Lish has not only created a work of enduring art, he has distinguished himself as one of our finest writers.” —Andre Dubus III, The New York Times Book Review
“[The War for Gloria] is coming-of-age fiction in extremis, where the characters are pushed, by disease, cruelty or punishing self-discipline, to the ’internal limit’ of their physical endurance, and the reader is dragged well beyond safe emotional boundaries as well. The poise of Mr. Lish’s writing makes this bleak story so dangerously absorbing. Gloria’s inexorable degeneration from ALS is charted with devastating care and observational finesse…. This is a far fuller novel than I can indicate here. It’s interested in masculinity, father figures and the possibility of decency in a world ’with no rules except those that good people managed to enforce on their own.’…The powerfully ambiguous ending brings to a fitting close a remarkable portrait of a sensitive boy forced into a life of hardness and violence.” —The Wall Street Journal
“With staccato prose and razor-sharp descriptions of working-class Boston, PEN/Faulkner Award-winner Lish excels at storytelling. The descriptions of Gloria’s struggle with ALS and Corey’s role as caregiver are nothing short of brilliant…[The War for Gloria] is powered by remarkable empathy and humanity.” —Booklist (starred review)
“Atticus Lish’s second novel, The War for Gloria, is, by and large, a monster—solemn, punishing, kinetic, in easy contact with dark areas of the psyche, and yet heartbreaking in its portrait of a mother and son facing her mortal illness. It more than pays off on the promise of his first novel…. It may be the first great mixed martial arts—cage fighting—novel…. Powerful, intelligent, brooding and most of all convincing; it earns its emotions.” —The New York Times
“An ambitious book with a lot to say about family loyalty and love…peopled with well-drawn characters who live in precarious economic circumstances…. Lish is a sensational literary craftsman, using the words in his toolbelt to construct narrative that is at once coolly dispassionate and red hot with emotion…. I will be thinking about The War For Gloria for a long time. The book opens a disturbing window into a teenager’s losing battle to save his mother, our broken healthcare system, the power that humans have to inflict harm on one another, and one boy’s efforts to save not only his mother, but himself.” —NPR
“The War for Gloria begins as a poignant narrative about confronting mortality and the fragility of life and evolves into a taut, mesmerizing thriller. Vividly realized and researched.” —BuzzFeed
“Unflinching and heartbreaking…Lish imbues the male characters’ varied pitches of toxic masculinity with great sadness, smoothing the edges off their macho posturing, and he writes with devastating empathy of Gloria’s highs and lows. This is a tremendous achievement.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Lish renders each character and relationship with specificity and kindness.” —Literary Hub
“Fascinating. …Lish’s writing…displays a virtuosic level of detail…. [He] has a great lyrical talent…. What a strange genius, this author, of a novel full of such tenderness and violence, such oedipal love and oedipal rage.” —Harper’s Magazine
“The War For Gloria is a force, an epic coming-of-age tale filled with pain, heartache, fear, and undying love. When you think the story might turn one direction, it turns another. But what remains steadfast throughout is Corey’s devotion to his mother, his guttural need to do all he can to protect her…. Lish has crafted a compelling tale filled with complex and at times, frightening characters that will keep you intrigued.” —Associated Press News
“Confident and humble, this is a once-in-a-decade triumph.” —Publishers Weekly
“Brutally devastating…. The War for Gloria is an unrepentantly American novel—a big, unwieldy beast about the white working class, the travails of masculinity, Boston, and the ever-present ghosts of the past…. Lish [is] the kind of writer who doesn’t just put his characters through the wringer but slowly and methodically destroys them, makes clear that this is a novel not of quiet epiphany and triumph but of American devastation.” —Washington Examiner