Who Is Vera Kelly?

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Product Details

$15.95  $14.83
Tin House Books
Publish Date
5.4 X 8.4 X 0.8 inches | 0.75 pounds

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About the Author

Rosalie Knecht is the author of Who is Vera Kelly?, Vera Kelly is not a Mystery, winner of the Edgar Award, G.P. Putnam's Sons Sue Grafton Memorial Award and a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award, as well as a Relief Map, and a translation of Aira's The Seamstress and the Wind. She lives in Jersey City, NJ.


Sardonic, intelligent, and thrillingly original, Rosalie Knecht has not only revitalized the female spy novel with her feisty, indeterminable heroine, she's also joyfully queered it. I loved this book and I loved Vera. Read this book right now!"--Courtney Maum, author of I AM HAVING SO MUCH FUN HERE WITHOUT YOU
A buzzing, smoky, gin-soaked charmer.--Library Journal, Hot Picks
The character readers have been waiting for. A riveting, satisfying novel.--Kirkus Reviews
A tangled, atmospheric story that gradually builds suspense to a satisfyingly surprising denouement.--Booklist
One thing Vera Kelly is not is a standard-issue spy. . . . Knecht has written a hybrid novel that is both literary in its attention to character and language, and a thriller where Vera's status as a spy makes her a hunted woman who will have to find a way to survive. This intelligent novel about the quest for secret intelligence is a real treat.--Signature Reads
Thanks to Rosalie Knecht's clever, hilarious writing, you'll find yourself wanting everyone you know to read it so that you can discuss together the wholly original, brilliantly subversive character that is Vera Kelly.--NYLON
When we first meet Vera Kelly, she's a troubled 1950s teenager who's overdosed on Equanil. Next she's in explosive 1960s Buenos Aires after being recruited by the CIA ("I could be charming if I wanted to. There were basic tricks"). . . . All the edgy fun of classic noir but in an original voice that's fresh, brisk, and snappy. Hugely buzzing.--Library Journal, Most Anticipated Books of Spring/Summer
Gripping, subtle, magnificently written . . . This is a cool, strolling boulevardier of a book, worldly, wry, unrushed but never slow, which casts its gaze upon the middle of the last century and forces us to consider how it might be failing us still.--The New York Times Book Review
There's political intrigue, spycraft, solid location work, and all the things you would want from espionage fiction, but there's also something strange and subversive going on in this story. Knecht has a livewire intellect and I hope she sticks with spy fiction of some kind of another, because this is just the kind of jolt the genre (my beloved genre) needs now and again.--CrimeReads
When it comes to women spies, the question is no longer, 'Where in the world is Carmen San Diego?' It is, 'Who is Vera Kelly?'--Refinery29
Forget about 007. This heroine has her own brand of spycraft. . . . Given the current popularity of 'women-in-trouble' psychological suspense tales, where much of the action takes place in the heroine's anxious mind, it's refreshing to read a novel where a capable young woman not only knows how to fix an electrical short in a transformer, but also how to maneuver around the homophobic biases of her own era.--The Washington Post
I found myself drawn to the bildungsroman folded into the spy novel. Balancing those two elements in alternating chapters that read like Vera's diary entries, Knecht imbues the novel with emotional depth that allows for meditation on human connection.--Bomb Magazine
Rosalie Knecht performs the seemingly effortless sleight of hand you'd expect from any talented spy . . . . The book proves to be both smart and surprising at every twist.--Entertainment Tonight
The lesbian spy novel of your dreams.--Autostraddle
One of this summer's biggest treats for readers. It's a marvelous combination of a spy thriller, a mystery story, and a historical novel that puts a female twist the genre. Move aside, James Bond.--Bustle
A splendid genre-pushing thriller . . . A fractured coming-out in the repressive '50s primed Vera for a life of deception--but in Knecht's expert hands she's smart and complicated, yearning for connection in a tumultuous world.--People Magazine
A refreshing and idiosyncratic Cold War spy novel.--BBC Culture
Who Is Vera Kelly? is the twisty, literary, woman-driven spy novel you've always wanted to read. Vera Kelly hopscotches from Brooklyn to Buenos Aires, fueled by gin and cigarettes, on the run from her past and equipped with a case of listening devices. But this is no ordinary adventure novel: Rosalie Knecht is a sensitive and gifted writer with a lyrical voice that imbues this dazzling novel unexpected emotional depth.--Amy Stewart, New York Times bestselling author of GIRL WAITS WITH GUN