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September 2016 Fiction Releases

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    For sale with exclusive rights in: CA
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    Distributor: Publishers Group Canada Supplies to:CA Availability: Available Excluding:May 20, 2020 On Sale Date:Sep 23, 2016 Carton Quantity:44 $25.50 CAD
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Nine Island
By (author): Jane Alison
9781936787128 Paperback, Trade English General Trade FICTION / Biographical Sep 23, 2016
$25.50 CAD
Active 5.5 x 8.25 x 0.64 in | 320 gr 244 pages Catapult
?Nine Island is a crackling incantation, brittle and brilliant and hot and sad and full of sideways humor that devastates and illuminates all at once.” ?Lauren Groff, author ofFates and Furies

Nine Island is an intimate autobiographical novel, told by J, a woman who lives in a glass tower on one of Miami Beach’s lush Venetian Islands. After decades of disaster with men, she is trying to decide whether to withdraw forever from romantic love. Having just returned to Miami from a monthlong reunion with an old flame, ?Sir Gold,” and a visit to her fragile mother, J begins translating Ovid’s magical stories about the transformations caused by Eros. ?A woman who wants,a man who wants nothing. These two have stalked the world for thousands of years,” she thinks.

When not ruminating over her sexual past and current fantasies, in the company of only her aging cat, J observes the comic, sometimes steamy goings-on among her faded-glamour condo neighbors. One of them, a caring nurse, befriends her, eventually offering the opinion that ?if you retire from love . . . then you retire from life.”

Jane Alison is the author of a memoir,The Sisters Antipodes, and three novels?The Love-Artist,The Marriage of the Sea, andNatives and Exotics?and the translator of Ovid's stories of sexual transformation,Change Me. She is Professor and Director of Creative Writing at the University of Virginia, and lives in Charlottesville. Learn more at

Praise for Jane Alison:

Nine Island

The Guardian, Best Summer Books 2018
One ofPublishers Weekly's 25 Best Books of 2016 in Fiction

?Alison’s evocation of J’s interior life feels honest, and it dramatizes the social invisibility of women who live alone past a certain age. . . .[Her] novel treats with humor . . . existential questions about solitude and the inevitability of transformation. As our circumstances and bodies change, as we inflict and cause pain, as our lives expand and contract, what of the self endures?Nine Island testifies to the fragility of a life that can vanish from sight, and to the sturdiness of one that maintains the capacity for change.” ?Alix Ohlin,New York Times Book Review

?The free form of Alison’s prose will keep you on your toes, and her meditations on the absence and presence of love will touch your heart.” ?Estelle Tang, ?The 11 Best Books for September 2016,”ELLE

?Nine Island could be fun for a book club, though one with only female members. J, having just suffered a romantic rejection, retreats to her glass aerie on one of the Miami Beach islands, thinking about renouncing men forever. ?Three decades of wandering among men. I have to ask myself, for what? Who made them the trees, the stars?’ ?Sarah Murdoch,Toronto Star

?The more or less constant delights of Jane Alison’s latest novel bubble up out of a story that is, incongruously, bleak. It is quite an achievement, a comic novel about a woman of a certain age as she contemplates embracing a not-altogether-unwelcome spinsterhood. . . . There is a wonderful observation . . . on every page.” ?Chauncey Mabe,Miami Herald

?Wonderful. . . . With echoes of Molly Bloom's soliloquy and Iris Murdoch'sThe Sea, the Sea, Alison has forged a haunting and emotionally precise portrait, a beautiful reminder that solitude does not equal loneliness.” ?Publishers Weekly (starred review)

?I can’t stop thinking about this weird, wonderful book that follows a woman known only as 'J.' as she considers life on the cusp of sexual viability while living in a Miami Beach high rise. J. is (like her creator, who is also Director of Creative Writing at The University of Virginia) a serious scholar of Ovid, andThe Metamorphoses plays an important, but far from stuffy, role in the plot. Should be required reading for all women over age 18.” ?Bethanne Patrick,Literary Hub's ?5 Great Books to Read Amid the September Onslaught”

?Candid, contemplative, hilarious, and affecting. . . . It’s also quite a bit stranger than one might expect, in the best possible sense: allusive and elusive, it conflates its narrator’s restless mind and its louche, peculiar setting to produce an effect that’s vibrant, slippery, erotically charged, and slightly menacing.” ?Martin Seay, author ofThe Mirror Thief, inElectric Literature

?A cerebral exploration of self,Nine Island explores oneness and whether it is, or isn't, an acceptable ending.” ?Ilana Masad,Read it Forward's ?Favorite Reads of September”

?Earlier this year, we listed 99 books everyone should read. If you've somehow chewed through this list already, we recommendNine Island by Jane Alison.” ?Harper's BAZAAR

?This immersive, cerebral novel centers on J, a woman teetering on the balance between the concrete, sometimes grim responsibilities of her daily life and an equally urgent personal dilemma: should she 'retire' from love and romance?. . . . Evocative, sad, at times funny, and never completely without hope,Nine Island studies what it means to be alone later in life.” ?Kirkus Reviews

?Nine Island is a crackling incantation, brittle and brilliant and hot and sad and full of sideways humor that devastates and illuminates all at once.” ?Lauren Groff, author ofFates and Furies

?Nine Island is a nerve-jangling book full of the giddy wit of the emotionally starving, the unfulfillable desire of being in love with being in love, and the weirdly sexy conversation of souls in free fall.” ?David Shields, author ofReality Hunger andHow Literature Saved My Life

?This deceptively slim narrative, as witty and mercurial as any tale from Ovid, circles deftly around love and desire, pain and death, joy and solitude and the relentless nature of change. I fell into it as into water, transformed by the magic of Alison's prose.” ?Andrea Barrett, author ofThe Air We Breathe and Archangel

The Love-Artist (2001)
?Jane Alison has constructed a wonderfully seductive first novel, a novel that shimmers with the musical artifice of Ovid's poetry while evoking the darker tragedies of his life ? She has created a dense, poetic narrative, filled with images and leitmotifs that mirror and refract Ovid's own verses, while at the same time spinning his life into a new myth of her own creation. In doing so she has found a voice, at once modern and archaic, lyrical and potent, that mesmerizes the reader, drawing us ineluctably into Ovid's world of marble and monuments and primal passions. She has written a small, twinkling jewel of a novel.” ?Michiko Kakutani,The New York Times

?Part thriller, part fantasy ? richly imagined ? The disastrous love affair that Alison invents between Ovid and Xenia, an almost feral witch whom he first spies rising like Galatea from the waves, has the power of poetic truth.” ?The New Yorker

?A swirling parable that touches on the opposed sorceries of art and magic, on tyranny and rebellion, and on the struggle of male and female.” ?Richard Eder,The New York Times Book Review

?Jane Alison's first novel,The Love-Artist ? is the kind of work that deserves a large and enthusiastic following.” ?Michael Shelden,The Baltimore Sun

?A hypnotic first novel ? Though her prose is lyrical and her subject esoteric, Alison grounds her narrative in the rough beauty and brutal accommodations of human relationships in a world that's as real as it is dreamlike, and she seems as comfortable depicting the raging furnaces of jealousy as she does delineating the keen luxury of sexual desire.” ?Fredric Koeppel,The Commercial Appeal (Memphis)

The Marriage of the Sea (2003)
ANew York Times Notable Book of the Year

?An intricate, elegant novel that ponders the connections among love, illusion, and fidelity in the permutations of eight central characters.” ?Margot Livesey,The New York Times Book Review

?As intriguing as the densely interwoven lives of [her] fascinating cast is Alison's literary use of the water that surrounds them....The Marriage of the Sea is soap opera en aqua, where the watery surrounds become a metaphor for the fluidity of human life ? [F]lows with stylistic brilliance.” ?The Baltimore Sun

?Ambitious, complex, challengingly intellectual?and yet Alison manages it all with a clarity, learnedness, and rigor that bring into being a creation of real beauty ? A real achievement.” ?Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

?Wrenching and beautifully written ? A dreamlike, gorgeously watery novel.” ?San Francisco Chronicle

Natives and Exotics (2005)
?A family's diaspora becomes an intriguing tale told backward ? Exquisitely observed, wonderfully off the beaten track ? Sentence by sentence, Alison's eclectic sensibility, tuned ear, and camera eye sharpen the concretized aftereffects of, one guesses, her own prodigious travels.” ?The Philadelphia Inquirer

?These stories quickly flow into a single narrative powerful enough to show how closely related our familial, political and natural worlds really are.” ?The Washington Post Book World

?Vivid and poignant ? What gives pleasure is how precisely [Alison] sees the fierce beauty of the natural world, as it moves, grows, evolves, both despite and because of the blind interference of humankind.” ?The Seattle Times

?Rapturous.” ?Vanity Fair

The Sisters Antipodes (2009)
?This is a brave and haunting piece of work, crafted so well that one is haunted as much by what is left out as what is included; a book you will think about long after you put it down.” ?Elizabeth Strout, author ofOlive Kitteridge

?Astonishing ? told with exceptional poise.” ?Vogue

?Affecting and profound ? With remarkable grace and insight, [Alison] examines early upheavals and unfortunate tensions in her most unusual upbringing.” ?San Francisco Chronicle

?A wrenching, luminous memoir.” ?People

?Sensual currents of language that sparkle with Alison's talent for tethering the abstract to physical description. An incomparable personal story exquisitely, stunningly told.” ?Kirkus Reviews (starred)

?In this enormously compelling memoir, novelist Alison recounts the strangely definitive reconfiguration of her family when her parents broke up and switched partners and children with another couple ?. A truly unusual, harrowing journey of identity.” ?Publishers Weekly (starred)

Change Me: Stories of Sexual Transformation from Ovid
Translated by Jane Alison (2014)

?Alison's smart and sensual translations well convey a face of Ovid's work likely to engage and intrigue a modern audience. The volume as a whole will entice new readers to explore this sophisticated poet; those who already know Ovid well will learn to read him differently thanks to Alison's perspective and her nuanced insights into the workings of his narratives.” ?Andrew Feldherr, Princeton University

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