“Adam Haslett’s second novel is about family, love, forgotten music, and a despair that proves unbearable, and has one of the most harrowing and sustained descriptions of a mind in obsessive turmoil and disrepair that I’ve ever read. Haslett is a marvelously lucid and intelligent writer.”—Joy Williams, Pulitzer Prize finalist for The Quick and the Dead
“This is a book that tenderly and luminously deals with mental illness and with the life of the mind…hypnotic and haunting.”—Publishers Weekly, starred, boxed review
“Imagine Me Gone is beautiful, it’s terrifying, it’s intimate and epic, and it’s devastating—one of the great books about loss and mourning and the ineluctable laws that govern the political economy of families. I cannot describe the force or the depth of its accomplishment except to say that this magnificent work of art has overwhelmed me and broken my heart. It will take me a long time to come to terms with this novel.”—Tony Kushner
Litquake is proud to host the San Francisco launch of Adam Haslett's newest novel Imagine Me Gone. Haslett will be in conversation with Jane Ciabattari. Book sales and signing to follow.
When Margaret's fiancé, John, is hospitalized for depression in 1960s London, she faces a choice: carry on with their plans despite what she now knows of his condition, or back away from the suffering it may bring her. She decides to marry him. Imagine Me Gone is the unforgettable story of what unfolds from this act of love and faith. At the heart of it is their eldest son, Michael, a brilliant, anxious music fanatic who makes sense of the world through parody. Over the span of decades, his younger siblings -- the savvy and responsible Celia and the ambitious and tightly controlled Alec -- struggle along with their mother to care for Michael's increasingly troubled and precarious existence.
Told in alternating points of view by all five members of the family, this searing, gut-wrenching, and yet frequently hilarious novel brings alive with remarkable depth and poignancy the love of a mother for her children, the often inescapable devotion siblings feel toward one another, and the legacy of a father's pain in the life of a family.
With his striking emotional precision and lively, inventive language, Adam Haslett has given us something rare: a novel with the power to change how we see the most important people in our lives.