Next Life Might Be Kinder (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews


A masterfully realized story of love between two memorable and fiercely independent characters, this remarkable novel also encompasses murder, apparitions of the dead, the idiosyncrasies of therapy and grief, and the arts of watching shore birds and making films. Its authenticity partly originates from the rendering of Howard Norman country—Nova Scotia—that we’ve come to know from his other great novels. Offering much food for thought regarding the distance between life and art’s representation of life, this is Norman’s best novel yet.

— From John

June 2014 Indie Next List


“Norman's new novel has the elements that make all of his previous novels so superb: the elegant writing, an omnipresent sense of place, an exploration of love, and the tension of a quiet center punctuated by bursts of violence. The story of Sam Lattimore in the aftermath of his beloved wife's murder is erotically charged, mysterious, and haunting. You shouldn't miss it.”
— Carole Horne, Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, MA

Description


“Norman elegantly crafts a murder story that isn’t a mystery; a ghost story without shivers. At its heart, this is a bittersweet love story, about the hole left in a life.” — Seattle Times

Sam Lattimore meets Elizabeth Church in 1970s Halifax, in an art gallery. Their brief, erotically charged marriage is extinguished with Elizabeth’s murder. Sam’s life afterward is complicated. In a moment of desperate confusion, he sells his life story to a Norwegian filmmaker named Istvakson, known for the stylized violence of his films, whose artistic drive sets in motion an increasingly intense cat-and-mouse game between the two men. Furthermore, Sam has begun “seeing” Elizabeth—not only seeing but holding conversations with her, almost every evening, and what at first seems simply hallucination born of terrible grief reveals itself, evening by evening, as something else entirely.

 “Beautifully and carefully written and unique, its meaning both elegant and elusive.” — Ann Beattie

“Compelling and satisfying. Howard Norman has written a complex literary novel and a page-turner that’s impossible to put down.” — Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Quirky and probing . . . riveting . . . sexy.” — Washington Post

About the Author


HOWARD NORMAN is a three-time winner of National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, and a winner of the Lannan Award for fiction.  His novels The Northern Lights and The Bird Artist were both nominated for a National Book Award. He is also author of the novels The Museum Guard, The Haunting of L, and What Is Left the Daughter.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780544484061
ISBN-10: 0544484061
Publisher: Mariner Books
Publication Date: June 9th, 2015
Pages: 272
Language: English