Named a Summer Must Read by Wall Street Journal, Elle, Harper's Bazaar, Entertainment Weekly, Glamour, Esquire, Bustle, Town & Country, Good Housekeeping, Refinery29, and more "[Hoby] might have just written the defining New York City novel of our fraught, socially anxious, and politically tumultuous times." --Interview "Intense and addictive." --New York Times
A powerful novel of youth, desire, and moral conflict, in which a young man is seduced by the mirage of glamour--at terrible cost.
Arriving in New York City for an internship at an elite but fading magazine, Luca feels invisible: smart but not worldly, privileged but broke, and uncertain how to navigate a new era of social change. Among his peers is Zara, a young Black woman whose sharp wit and frank views on injustice create tension in the office, especially in the wake of a shock election that's irrevocably destabilized American life. In the months that follow, as the streets of New York fill with pink-hatted protesters and the magazine faces a changing of the guard, Luca is taken under the wing of an attractive and wealthy white couple--Paula, a prominent artist, and Jason, her filmmaker husband--whose lifestyle he finds both alien and alluring.
With the coming of summer, Luca is swept up in the fever dream of their marriage, accepting an invitation to join the couple and their children at their beach house, and nurturing an infatuation both frustrating and dangerous. Only after he learns of a spectacular tragedy in the city he has left behind does he begin to realize the moral consequences of his allegiances.
In language at once lyrical and incisive, Virtue
offers a clear-eyed, unsettling story of the allure of privilege and the costs of complacency, from a writer of astonishing acuity and vision.
About the Author
Hermione Hoby is the author of the novel Neon in Daylight, which was twice listed as a New York Times Editors' Choice. Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, The Guardian, The New York Times, and Frieze. Raised in London, she lives in Colorado.
Advance Praise for Virtue
"Hermione Hoby has a way of rebuilding the world with astounding resonance and vividness. In Virtue
, with bewitching precision, she captures the ominous beauty and soft underbelly of our protest summers. The result is both a sumptuous portrait of all-consuming attraction and a compassionate indictment of shallow social conscience. I loved this novel, and sank deep into its radiance and rot." --Jia Tolentino, author of Trick Mirror