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The Complicities

The Complicities

Current price: $17.99
Publication Date: August 1st, 2023
Publisher:
Algonquin Books
ISBN:
9781643753942
Pages:
320
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Description

Award-winning author Stacey D’Erasmo tells a haunting and emotionally affecting story about a woman trying to rebuild her life after her husband’s arrest, and what she knew—or pretended not to know— about where their family’s money came from. 

After her husband Alan’s decades of financial fraud are exposed, Suzanne’s wealthy, comfortable life shatters. Alan goes to prison. Suzanne files for divorce, decamps to a barely middle-class Massachusetts beach town, and begins to create a new life and identity. Ignoring a steady stream of calls from Norfolk State Prison, she tries to cleanse herself of all connections to her ex-husband. She tells herself that he, not she, committed the crimes.

Then Alan is released early, and the many people whose lives he ruined demand restitution. But when Suzanne finds herself awestruck at a major whale stranding, she makes an apparently high-minded decision that ripples with devastating effect not only through Alan’s life as he tries to rebuild but also through the lives of Suzanne and Alan’s son, Alan’s new wife, his estranged mother, and, ultimately, Suzanne herself.

When damage is done, who pays? Who loses? Who is responsible?

With biting wisdom, The Complicities examines the ways in which the stories we tell ourselves—that we didn’t know, that we weren’t there, that it wasn’t our fault—are also finally stories of our own deep complicity.   

About the Author

Stacey D’Erasmo is the author of four novels and one book of nonfiction. She has been the recipient of a Stegner Fellowship in fiction, a Guggenheim Fellowship in fiction, and a Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Prize from Lambda Literary, among other awards. Her essays, features, and reviews have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the New York Times Book Review, the New Yorker, the Boston Review, Bookforum, the New England Review, and Ploughshares, among other publications. She is an associate professor of writing and publishing practices at Fordham University. 

Praise for The Complicities

"[A] perfect outing . . . With smooth shifts in perspective and understated and precise prose, D’Erasmo demonstrates a mastery of the craft. The result is propulsive and profound."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

"The Complicities had me enthralled. This gripping, human tale of our crimes—financial, environmental, self-delusional—is impossible to put down. D’Erasmo weaves a thriller of a tale, exposing sticky webs of corruption that entangle our lives and fates, even those who fantasize about their innocence, redemption and escape."—Samantha Hunt, author of The Unwritten Book: An Investigation

“The Complicities is a subtle masterpiece. Imagine a voice—lyrical and low, intimate and insistent—whispering in your ear. Half-told truths simmer below the surface, like the uneasy murmuring of a conscience. Mesmerized, you listen. There is menace here in D’Erasmo’s disquieted world, and terrible beauty, too. Things are not what they appear to be. We are not who we think we are, either, and yet we are complicit.”—Ruth Ozeki, author of The Book of Form and Emptiness

“In Stacey D'Erasmo's wonderful new novel, The Complicities, the past catches up to the present and overtakes it. All the scattered misdeeds and cut corners and malfeasances come together as crimes, big and small, and the characters either see the criminality or try to ignore it. But this suspenseful novel sees it all, and I found myself enlightened and deeply moved by its compelling story.”—Charles Baxter, author of The Sun Collective

“What does it mean—in such a corrupted world—to reckon with and atone for our own complicities? Stacey D’Erasmo’s latest unspools with the twisty intensity of a psychological thriller and the oceanic depth of a literary tour de force. The Complicities is an electrifying novel of powerful moral complexity, from a treasured writer working at the height of her powers.”—Laura van den Berg, author of I Hold a Wolf by the Ears