The making-of-a-writer subgenre gets a feminist spin in Lily King’s latest, which chronicles the life of Casey Peabody, a waitress with an unfinished novel, two possible beaus, and the grief at the recent loss of her mother. I know it’s all fiction, but King’s novel tracks with her own story in the years before her first novel was accepted, and anyone whose worked in a restaurant will agree that these experiences (for better or worse) are about as authentic as you can get. Writers and Lovers is a bit of a detour from the breakout Euphoria, but fans will delight in this truly piquant novel.— Daniel Goldin
March 2020 Indie Next List
“Casey lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, waits tables, worries about her debt, and falls for the wrong man and the right one. She dreams, she grieves, and she worries about her health. In spite of it all, she manages to finish her novel. Lily King’s assured, closely observed story is a loving portrait of Casey and the writing life. I don’t think there’s a single unnecessary word in the whole thing. Writers & Lovers is a joy to read, a gift from a writer at the top of her game.”
— David Enyeart, Next Chapter Booksellers, St. Paul, MN
Following the breakout success of her critically acclaimed and award-winning novel Euphoria, Lily King returns with an unforgettable portrait of an artist as a young woman.
Blindsided by her mother's sudden death and wrecked by a recent love affair, Casey Peabody has arrived in Massachusetts in the summer of 1997 without a plan. Her mail consists of wedding invitations and final notices from debt collectors. A former child golf prodigy, she now waits tables in Harvard Square and rents a tiny, moldy room at the side of a garage where she works on the novel she has been writing for six years. At thirty-one, Casey is still clutching onto something nearly all her old friends have let go of: the determination to live a creative life. When she falls for two very different men at the same time, her world fractures even more. Casey's fight to fulfill her creative ambitions and balance the conflicting demands of art and life is challenged in ways that push her to the brink.
Writers & Lovers follows Casey―a smart and achingly vulnerable protagonist―in the last days of a long youth, a time when every element of her life comes to a crisis. Written with King's trademark humor, heart, and intelligence, Writers & Lovers is a transfixing novel that explores the terrifying and exhilarating leap between the end of one phase of life and the beginning of another.