The Morningside: A Novel (Hardcover)
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From the critically beloved, New York Times bestselling author of The Tiger’s Wife and Inland, a magical novel of mothers and daughters, displacement and belonging, and myths both old and new
“A multifaceted gift of a novel that only Téa Obreht could conjure onto paper.”—Karen Russell, author of Orange World and Other Stories
There’s the world you can see. And then there’s the one you can’t. Welcome to the Morningside.
After being expelled from their ancestral home in a not-so-distant future, Silvia and her mother finally settle at the Morningside, a crumbling luxury tower in a place called Island City where Silvia’s aunt Ena serves as the superintendent. Silvia feels unmoored in her new life because her mother has been so diligently secretive about their family’s past, and because the once-vibrant city where she lives is now half-underwater. Silvia knows almost nothing about the place where she was born and spent her early years, nor does she fully understand why she and her mother had to leave. But in Ena there is an opening: a person willing to give the young girl glimpses into the folktales of her demolished homeland, a place of natural beauty and communal spirit that is lacking in Silvia’s lonely and impoverished reality.
Enchanted by Ena’s stories, Silvia begins seeing the world with magical possibilities and becomes obsessed with the mysterious older woman who lives in the penthouse of the Morningside. Bezi Duras is an enigma to everyone in the building: She has her own elevator entrance and leaves only to go out at night and walk her three massive hounds, often not returning until the early morning. Silvia’s mission to unravel the truth about this woman’s life, and her own haunted past, may end up costing her everything.
Startling, inventive, and profoundly moving, The Morningside is a novel about the stories we tell—and the stories we refuse to tell—to make sense of where we came from and who we hope we might become.
About the Author
Téa Obreht is the internationally bestselling author of The Tiger’s Wife, which won the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her second novel, Inland, was an instant bestseller, won the Southwest Book Award, and was a finalist for the Dylan Thomas Prize. Her work has appeared in The Best American Short Stories, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper’s, and Zoetrope: All-Story, among many other publications. Originally from the former Yugoslavia, Obreht now resides in Wyoming.
“The Morningside is a multifaceted gift of a novel that only Téa Obreht could conjure onto paper—a prismatic exploration of how we survive with ongoing loss, how we build and rebuild meaning together in the wake of disaster, and how tomorrow’s children might navigate a future world of profound uncertainty and precarity. Obreht is such an expert and generous storyteller, infusing The Morningside with the pleasures of folklore and fairy tale while simultaneously diving deep into the silences and irreconcilable contradictions in the stories we inherit about the past.”—Karen Russell, author of Orange World and Other Stories
“Imagine a Ballardian dystopia injected with a double dose of magic realism, so that the pages seem to glow. . . . An ideal novel in which all is invented and everything is true. I loved it.”—Ed Park, author of Same Bed Different Dreams
“Fresh and immensely gripping, The Morningside is a rich saga of migration and the search for belonging, bravely imagining our capacity for survival and love in an uncertain future. Obreht’s prose dazzles with precision and tremendous beauty, cementing her stature among the finest writers of her generation. . . . A stunning achievement.”—Claire Vaye Watkins, author of I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness
“The Morningside is like nothing I’ve read—at once playful and profound, harrowing and tender, a sparklingly original story of coming of age in a broken world.”—Karen Thompson Walker, author of The Dreamers