MY DARK VANESSA (WilliamMorrow) by Kate Elizabeth Russell is one of the most highly anticipated and controversial novels of 2020 – and it’s arrived! Oprah originally picked it for her book club, but after uproar on the Internet, she changed her mind and dropped it.
MY DARK VANESSA explores the psychological dynamics of the relationship between a precocious yet naïve teenage girl and her magnetic and manipulative teacher, a brilliant, all-consuming read that marks the explosive debut of an extraordinary new writer.
2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher.
2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenager-and who professed to worship only her-may be far different from what she has always believed?
Alternating between Vanessa’s present and her past, My Dark Vanessa juxtaposes memory and trauma with the breathless excitement of a teenage girl discovering the power her own body can wield. Thought-provoking and impossible to put down, this is a masterful portrayal of troubled adolescence and its repercussions that raises vital questions about agency, consent, complicity, and victimhood.
I’m a writer living in Madison, Wisconsin. My debut novel, My Dark Vanessa, is forthcoming from William Morrow (US), 4th Estate (UK), and will be translated into over twenty languages.
Originally from eastern Maine, I earned an MFA from Indiana University and a PhD from the University of Kansas.
Thanks to William Morrow/Harper Collins we have one signed copy to giveaway. Just tell us about the darkest book you’re read recently. We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck.
GIVEAWAY: USA only please
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