The Harpy

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Product Details
$26.00  $24.18
Grove Press
Publish Date
5.9 X 8.3 X 0.9 inches | 0.75 pounds

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About the Author
MEGAN HUNTER's first novel, The End We Start From, was published in 2017 in the UK, US, and Canada, and has been translated into eight languages. It was shortlisted for Novel of the Year at the Books Are My Bag Awards, longlisted for the Aspen Words Prize, was a Barnes and Noble Discover Awards finalist and won the Foreword Reviews Editor's Choice Award. Her poetry, short fiction and non-fiction has appeared in The White Review, the TLS, Literary Hub, BOMB Magazine and elsewhere. Her second novel, The Harpy, will be published in 2020.

A MILLIONS Most Anticipated Book of the Month

A Best Book of Fall for ESQUIRE

A VOGUE Novel Editors Recommend for Fall

A LITERARY HUB 20 books that are laced with sinister magic

"With shades of Carmen Maria Machado and Karen Russell, Hunter turns in an unforgettable magical realist story of power, revenge, and transformation."--Esquire Best Books for Fall

"Hunter is more concerned with the psychic injuries we inflict on the people we love than the physical ones, and physical form, in fact, becomes something mutable and ineffable, with the figure of the harpy--a mythic creature with a bird's body and a woman's head--assuming increasing prominence."--Chloe Schama, Vogue "14 Novels Vogue Editors Recommend for Fall"

"Worth the anticipation...a fascinating descent into a woman scorned...Megan Hunter is a beautiful observer of the minutiae in a soured marriage; she has this way of picking up these little details, these tiny scraps, and wielding them in a way that pierces. Toggling between their dark present and the narrator's lifelong fascination with the mythical figure of the harpy, the novel has a sinister, fairy-tale like quality. In this space, Megan Hunter has carved out a place for a woman between Virgin and Whore, a third kind of woman that claws at your insides long after you've shut the book."--Katie Yee, Literary Hub

"A taut horror story wrapped inside a domestic drama of two people at war with each other. A scarily satisfying read."--Library Journal

"A sleek, supernatural thriller. Lucy's narration is irresistible...Hunter maintains suspense until the final act of her satisfactory tale."--Publishers Weekly

"The Harpy asks its readers to consider whether emotional violence can be uncoupled from its physical counterpart, and whether one can justify the other. By blurring the boundaries of the two - a mild poisoning and revenge pornography occupy the same textual category of harm - the novel sketches out the unsettling psychological terrain that can lie beneath bourgeois marital composure."-- Guardian (UK)

"What's the point of writing an unoriginal sentence? A predictable sentence? A sequence of words that has been committed to paper hundreds, perhaps thousands of times before? This seems to be Megan Hunter's starting point whenever she sets out to write a novel. [...] A big part of what makes Hunter's writing so special is her unerring knack for describing very specific sensations in novel yet instantly-relatable ways. [...] a gripping, psychologically astute account of a relationship in free-fall."--Scotland on Sunday (UK)

"Hunter [writes] viscerally and incisively about her real themes: the taboos of female desire and rage; the loss of self that comes with motherhood; and the violence inflicted on women's bodies by both childbirth and men. [...] The momentum builds to a hallucinatory conclusion which sets this striking, pared-down modern myth apart from the mass of domestic noirs."--Daily Mail (UK)

"What appears to be a simple story about a wronged wife is anything but in the hands of such a talented writer. When Lucy learns her husband has been having an affair, she seeks to even the score with three acts of revenge. This contemporary fairytale is a talon-sharp look at the stultifying effect domesticity can have on women."--Good Housekeeping (UK)

"As with her debut, Hunter writes about the intricacies of motherhood with striking nuance. ... This surreal, eviscerating work of fiction lays bare the drudgery of suburban marriage and delves into institutionalized gender roles."--Irish Times

"The Harpy is an almost perfect book. The premise is so simple, and the execution so flawless. It feels like a fairy tale not only because of its aura of mystery and the purity of its structure, but because the story itself is so fundamental you could imagine it being told and re-told in a thousand different forms. In a way, the book feels more discovered than crafted, like the manuscript ought to have been found locked in a trunk in an attic somewhere, or translated off an old rock slab. I've talked about it more than anything else I've read so far this year: I love explaining the set-up to friends and watching their eyes widen. It's so dark and so much fun."--Kristen Roupenian

"In The Harpy, a confession of a woman who refuses to inhabit the world under false pretenses, Megan Hunter effortlessly compels us to feel both heartbreak and the momentary gratification of revenge. It is a book about love and betrayal -- that between husband and wife, and parent and child -- and it is devastating in its evocation of the expense and sometimes fatal strain of passion, grief, and rage."--Susanna Moore

"This is so up my alley. Reading Megan's fiction feels like her own description of donning glasses for the first time and looking again at an ordinary scene to see that it is not at all ordinary. Her use of language too is deceptive in that way -- seemingly simple and yet so acute and complex. Reading The Harpy I was utterly spellbound. Her dark humour and pointillist prose put her in league with Lydia Davis and Jenny Offill, masterfully rendering the emotional shock of a protagonist finding her life has become story."--Olivia Sudjic

"In hungry, restless prose, Megan Hunter tears apart the seam between motherhood and the monstrous. She confronts the fear of female anger and asks us what happens when pain that has been swallowed through generations begins to rush to the surface."--Jessica Andrews

"Both timeless and timely, The Harpy is a taut and lyrical novel about cozily calibrated lives coming spectacularly undone. Compulsively absorbing yet otherworldly, both a fever dream and a gorgeous and alarming howl of rage. Megan Hunter is a distinctive force of talent who portrays scenes of marriage, young parenthood, and mutable womanhood in fierce and fresh ways."--Sharlene Teo

"A beautifully written, viscerally disturbing novel that turns the narrative of the cheated-on wife on its head."--Laura Kaye

"A sharp, timely and darkly funny novel about maternal love and sacrifice, and the incandescent rage that festers beneath it. Hunter's writing is beautiful and spare, uncanny and hilarious. I utterly loved it."―Luiza Sauma

"Brilliant. Hunter imbues the everyday with apocalyptic unease. A deeply unsettling, excellent read."―Daisy Johnson