A compact tour de force about sex, violence, and self-loathing from a ferociously talented new voice in fiction, perfect for fans of Sally Rooney, Rachel Cusk, Lydia Davis, and Jenny Offill.
“Shrewd and sensual, Popkey's debut carries the scintillating charge of a long-overdue girls' night." —O, The Oprah Magazine
A Best Book of the Year by TIME, Esquire, Real Simple, Marie Claire, Glamor, Bustle, and more
Composed almost exclusively of conversations between women—the stories they tell each other, and the stories they tell themselves—Topics of Conversation careens through twenty years in the life of an unnamed narrator hungry for experience and bent on upending her life. In exchanges about shame and love, infidelity and self-sabotage, Popkey touches upon desire, disgust, motherhood, loneliness, art, pain, feminism, anger, envy, and guilt. Edgy, wry, and written in language that sizzles with intelligence and eroticism, this novel introduces an audacious and immensely gifted new novelist.
About the Author
MIRANDA POPKEY lives in Massachusetts. Topics of Conversation is her first novel.
Named a best book of the year by TIME, Esquire, Real Simple, Good Housekeeping, Marie Claire, Glamor, and Bustle
“Lyrical. . . . Smart and raw.”
—The Washington Post
“Sally Rooney-esque. . . . Popkey's sentences careen breathlessly as her halting, staccato prose mirrors the ‘churning’ within the narrator's mind. . . . A shrewd record of the act of unflinchingly circling these amorphous notions of pain, desire and control.”
—The New York Times Book Review
—The New Yorker
“Electrifying. . . . Shrewd and sensual, Popkey's debut carries the scintillating charge of a long-overdue girls’ night.”
—O, The Oprah Magazine
“Slim but potent... has the flavor of Rachel Cusk. . . . Provocative. . . . Sure to spark conversation.”
“Formally adventurous and blisteringly current. . . . In glittering prose, Popkey illuminates the performative nature of storytelling, assessing the degree to which the stories we tell about our lives are fictions.”
“As [the narrator] explores her own history through a shifting lens of female rivalries and friendships, the book's surface coolness begins to peel away, revealing the raw, uncommon nerve of a radically honest storyteller.”
“Masterfully controlled, delightfully chilly.”
—The Boston Globe
“Icily intelligent. . . . Reading Topics of Conversation [is] as thrilling as being told a secret.”
—The San Francisco Chronicle
“Perceptive, biting. . . . There’s much to relate to and dogear in this slim book.”
“Bedazzling. . . . A slender volume with the power of lightning.”
“Rich and rigorous.”