Immediate Family

Pre-Order   Ships Aug 03, 2021


A tender and fierce debut novel that explores of the bond between two siblings--one the biological child and one adopted from an orphanage in Thailand

It is the eve of her brother's wedding and Ashley is still struggling with her toast. Despite a recent fracture between them, her brother, Danny, has asked her to give a speech and she doesn't know where to begin, how to put words to their kind of love. Ashley was nine in 1994 when she traveled with her parents to Rangsit Babies' Home in Thailand to meet her little brother, six years her junior. They grew up together like any other siblings, sharing a bucolic childhood in sleepy Petaluma, California. Yet when Ashley holds their history up to the light, it refracts in ways she doesn't expect.

What follows is Immediate Family, a gorgeous and painful narrative addressed to Danny, an attempt at a full accounting of their years together, and a confession, of sorts, to the ways in which Ashley has kept him out, including her own struggle with infertility. The unreliability of memory comes into stark relief when Ashley begins to research adoption and trauma, scenes from literature, and the documents from Danny's case file, looking for answers to questions that have none. And as the hours till the wedding wane, Ashley comes up against an unexpected truth of her own, even as she finally finds words for the things that can't and won't be said aloud.

Ashley Nelson Levy's debut novel possesses a rare sensitivity, encapsulating the myriad ways we form families, both real and chosen.

Product Details

$26.00  $23.92
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publish Date
August 03, 2021
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Ashley Nelson Levy has published fiction and essays in ZYZZYVA, Catapult, The Atlas Review, and Fourteen Hills. Her work has been a notable mention in Best Nonrequired Reading and received the Bambi Holmes Award for Emerging Writers. She received her MFA from Columbia University, where she was a Clein/Lemann Fellow. In 2015, she co-founded Transit Books, an independent publishing house with a focus on international literature.