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Topics of Conversation

Miranda Popkey

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Serpents Tail
01 March 2020
Fiction & Literature; Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
What is the shape of a life? Is it the things that happen to us? Or is it the stories we tell about the things that happen to us? Miranda Popkey's remarkable debut novel follows one woman as she makes her way through two decades of bad relationships, motherhood, crisis and consolation, each new episode narrated through the conversations she has with other women: in private with friends, late at night at parties with acquaintances, with strangers in hotel rooms, in moments of revelation, shame, intimacy, cynicism and desire.

From the coast of the Adriatic to sun-soaked California, Topics of Conversation maps out one woman's life through the stories of the women around her and the men they've known. Full of the uncertainty of the present and the instability of the past, sizzling with enigmatic desire, it is a seductive exploration of life as a woman in the modern world, of the stories we tell ourselves and of the things we reveal only to strangers.
By:   Miranda Popkey
Imprint:   Serpents Tail
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Edition:   Main
Dimensions:   Height: 222mm,  Width: 144mm,  Spine: 26mm
Weight:   395g
ISBN:   9781788164047
ISBN 10:   1788164040
Pages:   240
Publication Date:   01 March 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Miranda Popkey was born in Santa Cruz, California in 1987. She graduated with a BA in Humanities from Yale in 2009, and with an MFA in Creative Writing from Washington University in St. Louis in 2018. She has written for, among other outlets, New Republic, the New Yorker's Page-Turner blog, Paris Review Daily, The Hairpin, The Awl, GQ.com and The Cut.

Reviews for Topics of Conversation

Penetrating, brutal, a brilliant new voice in contemporary fiction -- Ben Marcus A pleasingly unsentimental novel about attraction and repulsion and the fluid line between the two. Popkey writes about these emotional eddies with such thrilling detachment you'll wonder why you ever worried about love at all. -- Jenny Offill An intimate evisceration of our narrow imaginings of female sexuality, a brilliantly structured character study and a book that repeatedly asks how women can fully trust their own desires when they've grown up steeped in the wrong stories. Its narrator is as skeptical of her own self-delusive fictions as she is of the stifling cliches and shallow fantasies about women's interior lives perpetuated by the wider culture. -- Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia!


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