No One Is Talking About This: A Novel (Hardcover)

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"I really admire and love this book. Patricia Lockwood is a completely singular talent and this is her best, funniest, weirdest, most affecting work yet." --Sally Rooney

"A furiously original novel." --Jia Tolentino

From "a formidably gifted writer" (The New York Times Book Review), a book that asks: Is there life after the internet?

As this urgent, genre-defying book opens, a woman who has recently been elevated to prominence for her social media posts travels around the world to meet her adoring fans. She is overwhelmed by navigating the new language and etiquette of what she terms "the portal," where she grapples with an unshakable conviction that a vast chorus of voices is now dictating her thoughts. When existential threats--from climate change and economic precariousness to the rise of an unnamed dictator and an epidemic of loneliness--begin to loom, she posts her way deeper into the portal's void. An avalanche of images, details, and references accumulate to form a landscape that is post-sense, post-irony, post-everything. "Are we in hell?" the people of the portal ask themselves. "Are we all just going to keep doing this until we die?"

Suddenly, two texts from her mother pierce the fray: "Something has gone wrong," and "How soon can you get here?" As real life and its stakes collide with the increasingly absurd antics of the portal, the woman confronts a world that seems to contain both an abundance of proof that there is goodness, empathy, and justice in the universe, and a deluge of evidence to the contrary.

Fragmentary and omniscient, incisive and sincere, No One Is Talking About This is at once a love letter to the endless scroll and a profound, modern meditation on love, language, and human connection from a singular voice in American literature.

About the Author

Patricia Lockwood was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana and raised in all the worst cities of the Midwest. She is the author of two poetry collections, Balloon Pop Outlaw Black and Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals, a New York Times Notable Book, and the memoir Priestdaddy, which was named one of the ten best books of 2017 by The New York Times Book Review. Lockwood's writing has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New Republic, and the London Review of Books, where she is a contributing editor.

Praise For…

Advance praise for No One Is Talking About This:

Named a “Most Anticipated Book of 2021” by Harper's BazaarVulture, ParadeRefinery29, AV Club, Good Housekeeping, The Guardian, Lit Hub, and The Millions

“Everyone is bound to be talking about this first novel from Patricia Lockwood.” —Harper’s Bazaar

“Reading Patricia Lockwood raises questions. Questions such as, How can a person understand both herself and the world with such clarity? How does a person experience things so intensely and express them so buoyantly? Am I laughing or am I crying? Lockwood’s first novel is as crystalline, witty, and brain-shredding as her poetry and criticism.” —Molly Young, Vulture

“Genre-bending and entirely original.” Parade

“One of the most exciting writers these days is also one of the most Online, as longtime fans of Patricia Lockwood all agree . . . Like the internet itself, what follows is as ecstatically humorous as it is heartbreakingly sad.” —The Millions

“Rare is the writer who can adequately capture the strange duality of life in the age of social media, a reality in which the visceral and virtual are constantly colliding. But then, Patricia Lockwood is a rare writer; one whose work—whether a poem, memoir, or tweet—distills the essence of the extremely profane and reverent all at once . . . [Lockwood has an] ability to reflect what is so terribly funny and so terribly tragic about this particular moment in time.” Refinery29

“This is as close as I’ve ever seen a book get to recreating the way the internet—mindless absurdity, stuff about butts, random profundity—feels. The second section, however, takes a turn, and you realize that recreating all that inanity had a point: to be held up against real, terrible, heartrending life.” Lit Hub

“A fast and furious debut novel about being embedded deep in the digital world.” The Guardian

“Strange and intimately familiar. It's bizarre, oddly funny, at times piercing and absolutely a must-read for all of us social media users.” Good Housekeeping

“Patricia Lockwood is the kind of writer that you stop and read immediately whenever she publishes something new . . . Her supreme intelligence and wildly imaginative, offbeat sense of humor always comes to the fore. That is why readers may consider putting in their days off now, as Lockwood publishes her first novel in mid-February . . . Lockwood explores, as only she can, what it feels like to be extremely online. What may be even more remarkable than the novel’s humor and insight is just how much heart it has, too.” AV Club

“Lockwood’s debut novel comes packed with the humor, bawdiness, and lyrical insight that buoyed her memoir Priestdaddy . . . In the book’s shimmering second half, the internet jokes continue between the sisters as a means of coping with uncertainty, and resonate with the theme of life’s ephemerality vs. the internet’s infinitude. Throughout, a fragmented style captures and sometimes elevates a series of text messages and memes amid the meditations on family . . . This mighty novel screams with laughter just as it wallops with grief.” Publishers Weekly (starred review) 

“An insightful—frequently funny, often devastating—meditation on human existence online and off.” Kirkus (starred review)

“Provocative, addictive . . . With unfettered, imagistic language, Lockwood conjures both a digital life that's easily fallen into, and the sorts of love and grief that can make it all fall away.” Booklist (starred review) 

“Reading Patricia Lockwood feels like looking through a kaleidoscope built by a mischievous sorcerer—the world is suddenly rearranged in fragments that are cosmic, wondrous, humiliating, and profane. No One Is Talking About This is a furiously original novel, alive and unstable; the book builds to a reminder of how devastation and connection produce each other, endlessly and surprisingly, both on the internet and in human places that our shared digital consciousness can never reach.” —Jia Tolentino, author of Trick Mirror

“I really admire and love this book. Patricia Lockwood is a completely singular talent and this is her best, funniest, weirdest, most affecting work yet.” —Sally Rooney, author of Normal Peopleand Conversations with Friends

“Patricia Lockwood is a genius. No one else writes about the absurdism of internet culture with such mischief, affection, and awe. This novel cracked me up and then moved me to tears. I won't be able to stop thinking about it for a long time.” —Leigh Stein, author of Self Care

“Lockwood’s book got its hooks into me inside of two pages. Her observations about the pace and timbre and temperature and specific toxic weight of social media are so incisive, so perfectly-pitched, that they're like being shown portrait after portrait of oneself. In the second half of the book, when the world of hopes and genes and expectations pierces the rich wall of digital static, the effect is vertiginous, the pain profound, the tenderness of the family responding to crisis so real and so vivid that we feel present in the rooms with them as they learn the parameters of their grief. And not just grief, which is another of this book's great gifts. Lockwood saves her keenest, her best language for writing about the world of caring for a child with a debilitating genetic condition, the vocabulary of care, harder to describe than the Internet by half. This novel is a blessing, a gift, a difficult and great thing in the world.” —John Darnielle

Product Details
ISBN: 9780593189580
ISBN-10: 0593189582
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publication Date: February 16th, 2021
Pages: 224