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Hard Mouth

A Novel

List Price: $16.95

ON SALE: August 13, 2019 | Trade Paperback Original |  5.5 x 8.25, 256 pages | ISBN 9781640092426
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“An astute, luminous examination of the complexities of love and grief, with never a careless word. Hard Mouth is a blazing feat of a book.” —R. O. Kwon, author of The Incendiaries

An adventure novel upended by grief and propelled by the aberrant charm of its narrator, Hard Mouth is an unforgettable debut that explores what it takes to both existentially and literally survive.

For ten years, Denny’s father has battled cancer. The drawn-out loss has forged her into a dazed, antisocial young woman. On the clock, she works as a lab tech, readying fruit flies for experimentation. In her spare time, only her parents, an aggressively kind best friend, and her blowhard imaginary pal Gene—who she knows isn’t real—ornament her stale days in the D.C. suburbs.

Now her father’s cancer is back for a third time, and he’s rejecting treatment. Denny’s transgressive reaction is to flee. She begins to dismantle her life, constructing in its place the fantasy of perfect detachment. Unsure whether the impulse is monastic or suicidal, she rents a secluded cabin in the mountains. When she discovers life in the wilderness isn’t the perfect detachment she was expecting—and that she isn’t as alone as she’d hoped—Denny is forced to reckon with this failure while confronting a new life with its own set of pleasures and dangerous incursions.

Morbidly funny, subversive, and startling, Hard Mouth, the debut novel from 2018 NEA Creative Writing Fellow Amanda Goldblatt, unpacks what it means to live while others are dying.

About Amanda Goldblatt

AMANDA GOLDBLATT is a writer and teacher living in Chicago. She is a 2018 National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellow, and her fiction and essays have appeared in such journals as The Southern Review, NOON, Fence, Diagram, Hobart, and American Short Fiction. Hard Mouth is her debut novel.

Praise

Advance Praise for Hard Mouth

Hard Mouth’s surprises chase each other down like dominoes, both in plot and language. Goldblatt masters the balance of the epic and the personal, the adventurous and the introspective. I clung to every page.” —Jac Jemc, author of The Grip of It and False Bingo

“Frank, funny, cool, and deceptively aloof, Hard Mouth gets to the heart of what it is to be a vulnerable thing living in this world. A beautiful book, and a totally pure reading experience.” —Halle Butler, author of Jillian and The New Me

Hard Mouth is a heartbreaker of a novel. A mind-bruiser, too. Amanda Goldblatt has written an astonishing, destabilizing, and beautifully human book. It’s wildly empathetic, strangely funny, and so sharp it cuts. I loved it.” —Diane Cook, author of Man V. Nature: Stories

“In Hard Mouth, Amanda Goldblatt unsettles every old tale, disturbs every familiar sentence, shows us prose so new it’s almost jarring in its beauty, all while telling a story that’s impossible to put down. Her narrator Denny’s maybe a revolutionary, maybe a feral runaway in a hollow tree, maybe just a sad, angry girl with a gun—but she’s certainly the Bartleby of grief.” —Andrea Lawlor, author of Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl

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