Weather by Jenny Offill


From the beloved author of the nationwide best seller Dept. of Speculation—one of the New York Times Book Review’s Ten Best Books of the Year—a “darkly funny and urgent” (NPR) tour de force about a family, and a nation, in crisis.

In stock (can be backordered)

SKU: 9780345806901 Categories: , , , , ,


Our Bookseller says:

“One word for readers of this novel: parataxis: “the placing of clauses or phrases one after another without coordinating or subordinating connectives.” Jenny Offill’s Weather reads like, well, the weather, flickering from one thought to the next. But isn’t that what the weather does, anyway—it changes. Weather is hilariously dry and absurd, associative and quippy, a little like if Lydia Davis suddenly took an interest in climate doomers and Silicon Valley transhumanists. It asks the questions: how do I care for my family in the face of an impeding apocalypse? What’s the point of getting sober? Of self-care? Who forgot to feed the dog again, dammit? Why does my husband keep conducting philosophical experiments on us? I read this in a weekend, and then reread it the next. A very human take on today’s serious questions and fears.” – Mason

Lizzie Benson slid into her job as a librarian without a traditional degree. But this gives her a vantage point from which to practice her other calling: she is a fake shrink. For years she has tended to her God-haunted mother and her recovering addict brother. They have both stabilized for the moment, but Lizzie has little chance to spend her new free time with her husband and son before her old mentor, Sylvia Liller, makes a proposal. Sylvia has become famous for her prescient podcast, Hell and High Water, and wants to hire Lizzie to answer the mail she receives: from left-wingers worried about climate change and right-wingers worried about the decline of Western civilization.

As Lizzie dives into this polarized world, she begins to wonder what it means to keep tending your own garden once you’ve seen the flames beyond its walls. When her brother becomes a father and Sylvia a recluse, Lizzie is forced to address the limits of her own experience—but still she tries to save everyone, using everything she’s learned about empathy and despair, conscience and collusion, from her years of wandering the library stacks. And all the while the voices of the city keep floating in—funny, disturbing, and increasingly mad.

Weather by Jenny Offill
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