Little Nothing

Marisa Silver (Author)


In an unnamed country at the beginning of the last century, a child called Pavla is born to peasant parents. Her arrival, fervently anticipated and conceived in part by gypsy tonics and archaic prescriptions, stuns her parents and brings outrage and scorn from her community. Pavla has been born a dwarf, beautiful in face, but as the years pass, she grows no farther than the edge of her crib. When her parents turn to the treatments of a local charlatan, his terrifying cure opens the floodgates of persecution for Pavla. "Little Nothing" unfolds across a lifetime of unimaginable, magical transformation in and out of human form, as an outcast girl becomes a hunted woman whoseultimate survival depends on the most startling transfiguration of them all. Woven throughout is the journey of Danilo, the young man entranced by Pavla, obsessed only with protecting her. Part allegory about the shifting nature of being, part subversive fairy tale of love in all its uncanny guises, "Little Nothing" spans the beginning of a new century, the disintegration of ancient superstitions, and the adoption of industry and invention. With a cast of remarkable characters, a wholly original story, and extraordinary, page-turning prose, Marisa Silver delivers a novel of sheer electricity."

Product Details

Thorndike Press
Publish Date
October 05, 2016
5.5 X 0.9 X 8.6 inches | 1.1 pounds
BISAC Categories:

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Marisa Silver is the author of the novel "Mary Coin," a "New York Times" bestseller and winner of the Southern California Independent Bookseller s Award. She is also the author of "The God of War" (a "Los Angeles Times" Book Prize finalist); "No Direction Home"; and two story collections, "Alone with You" and "Babe in Paradise" (a "New York Times" Notable Book and "Los Angeles Times" Best Book of the Year). Her first short story appeared in "The New Yorker" when she was featured in the magazine s first Debut Fiction issue. Silver s fiction has won the O. Henry Award and been included in "The Best American Short Stories," "The O. Henry Prize Stories," and other anthologies. She lives in Los Angeles."


"Little Nothing" is a magnificent something, an inventive, unexpected story that seamlessly blends fable and folklore into the lives of characters who remain heart-wrenchingly real. That Silver wrestles with nearly unanswerable questions What does it mean to occupy a body? What does it mean to be human? How transformative is love? and still produces an exhilarating page-turner is a testament to her biting, beautiful prose. In addition to being a joy to read, this book challenged and changed me, and I can t imagine what else anyone would want from a work of art. Cynthia D Aprix Sweeney, author of "The Nest"
"Little Nothing" is the key to its own box, which opens and opens, transcending the limits of the very tale one thought one was reading. There is no limit. There is only the vaporous wonder of transformation, and the kernel of a spirit of a thing that can go on, and does. This book is a beautifully realized riddle. Rachel Kushner, author of "The Flamethrowers"
By turns haunting, fanciful, and poignant, "Little Nothing" is the latest example of why Marisa Silver is one of our finest, most protean storytellers. Boris Fishman, author of "A Replacement Life"
Part allegory, part fable, part love story, "Little Nothing" is unflinching, brutal, and yet exquisitely beautiful. This haunting and original novel about the lengths people will go to escape persecution, the transformative power of compassion, and how one can find moments of grace and connection in a world filled with heartache is unlike anything I ve ever read before. Christina Baker Kline, author of "The Way Life Should Be" and "Sweet Water"
In "Little Nothing," the wizardly Marisa Silver conjures a pitch-dark tale with empathy and humor. An emotionally suspenseful allegory, the novel reveals how the world s expectations can torque a woman s identity and leave a ferocious ache behind. The novel twisted me up inside. I loved it. Lauren Groff, author of "Fates and Furies," a National Book Award finalist
With "Little Nothing," the peerless Marisa Silver is at the height of her powers. Following one woman s transformation, "Little Nothing" reimagines the boundaries between mother and child, human and non-human, possible and impossible. Lyrical, raw, and urgent, this exquisite novel will take you to the outermost edges of heart and mind. Amity Gaige, author of "Shroder"
"Little Nothing" is a wild, witty, and mesmerizing tale that plays with the dissidence of bodies and the transcendence of longing. Marisa Silver writes beautiful, seductive prose that always manages to be both wise and fleet; her inventive, romantic novel is compassionate and moving in wonderfully surprising ways. Dana Spiotta, National Book Award finalist and author of "Innocents and Others" and "Eat the Document""