The Morningside: A Novel (Hardcover)

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The Morningside: A Novel By Téa Obreht  Cover Image

The Morningside: A Novel (Hardcover)


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Staff Reviews

This novel is for anyone who ever believed that there might just be a (maybe-sort-of-kind-of-out-of-the-corner-of-their-eyes) Boo Radley, Wicked Witch of the West, Baba Yaga, or Maleficent character who lives among us. Reach back, and pull out your memory of Francie from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Next, pull up a time when your imagination ran wild with speculation over the strange woman who lived next door, and what mysterious things she might have been up to. Mix those two together, and you've set the stage to jump in to the formerly-lovely, now discarded and neglected Morningside Apartments.
Silvia and her mother have relocated to this slowly-sinking version of Manhattan, in hopes that better opportunities await them both. Forced from their homeland due to devastating floods and mudslides, they move in with Ena - a great aunt who fills Sylvia's imagination with dark folklore from the "old world." Is the woman living in the penthouse a recluse who loves dogs, or an enchantress who has the ability to turn men into wolfhounds? Sylvia will stop at nothing to find out, but the stakes are higher than she could ever imagine. Addictive and gauzy in the vein of Eowyn Ivy's Snow Child, you will fall in love with the young narrator of The Morningside, and turn the last page with a smile on your face despite what you've been through with the characters.

— From Jessilynn

“A touching, inventive novel about belonging and loss” (People) from the critically beloved, New York Times bestselling author of The Tiger’s Wife and Inland

“I marveled at the subtle beauty and precision of Obreht’s prose. . . Read in the context of today’s conflicts and injustices, climate emergencies, and political and racial divisions—together more dystopian than any dystopian novel—the book surprised me most with its undercurrent of hope.”—Jessamine Chan, author of The School for Good Mothers, in The New York Times (Editors’ Choice)

There’s the world you can see. And then there’s the one you can’t. Welcome to the Morningside.

After being expelled from their ancestral home in a not-so-distant future, Silvia and her mother finally settle at the Morningside, a crumbling luxury tower in a place called Island City where Silvia’s aunt Ena serves as the superintendent. Silvia feels unmoored in her new life because her mother has been so diligently secretive about their family’s past, and because the once-vibrant city where she lives is now half-underwater. Silvia knows almost nothing about the place where she was born and spent her early years, nor does she fully understand why she and her mother had to leave. But in Ena there is an opening: a person willing to give the young girl glimpses into the folktales of her demolished homeland, a place of natural beauty and communal spirit that is lacking in Silvia’s lonely and impoverished reality.

Enchanted by Ena’s stories, Silvia begins seeing the world with magical possibilities and becomes obsessed with the mysterious older woman who lives in the penthouse of the Morningside. Bezi Duras is an enigma to everyone in the building: She has her own elevator entrance and leaves only to go out at night and walk her three massive hounds, often not returning until the early morning. Silvia’s mission to unravel the truth about this woman’s life, and her own haunted past, may end up costing her everything.

Startling, inventive, and profoundly moving, The Morningside is a novel about the stories we tell—and the stories we refuse to tell—to make sense of where we came from and who we hope we might become.
Téa Obreht is the internationally bestselling author of The Tiger’s Wife, which won the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her second novel, Inland, was an instant bestseller, won the Southwest Book Award, and was a finalist for the Dylan Thomas Prize. Her work has appeared in The Best American Short Stories, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper’s, and Zoetrope: All-Story, among many other publications. Originally from the former Yugoslavia, Obreht now resides in Wyoming.

Product Details ISBN: 9781984855503
ISBN-10: 1984855506
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: March 19th, 2024
Pages: 304
Language: English
“The dreamlike novel draws on elements of folklore and fairy tales for a narrative set eerily close to present day that explores environmental collapse and human resilience.”—Time

“I marveled at the subtle beauty and precision of Obreht’s prose. . . . By weaving in folklore and ample wonder, Obreht gives her climate fiction ancient roots, forcing us to reckon with the ruined world that future generations will inherit, while reminding us that even in the face of catastrophe, there’s solace to be found in art.”—Jessamine Chan, The New York Times

“A touching, inventive novel about belonging and loss.”People

“A beautiful examination of displacement, identity, and the effects of unchecked political power, enriched with touches of magical realism and dystopia.”—Bustle

“This touching and inventive novel follows a young woman searching for meaning and belonging, both through her loving aunt’s stories and the enigmatic resident of the building’s penthouse suite.”—Oprah Daily

“An astounding rethink of the mother-daughter narrative.”—Real Simple

“Try to read ten pages of this book and resist its fairy dust. . . . Obreht is a pure, natural storyteller with a direct hotline to the collective unconsciousness.”—Star Tribune

“Obreht is such an expert and generous storyteller, infusing The Morningside with the pleasures of folklore and fairy tale while simultaneously diving deep into the silences and irreconcilable contradictions in the stories we inherit about the past.”—Karen Russell, author of Orange World and Other Stories

“Imagine a Ballardian dystopia injected with a double dose of magic realism, so that the pages seem to glow. . . . An ideal novel in which all is invented and everything is true. I loved it.”—Ed Park, author of Same Bed Different Dreams

“Fresh and immensely gripping, The Morningside is a rich saga of migration and the search for belonging, bravely imagining our capacity for survival and love in an uncertain future. . . . A stunning achievement.”—Claire Vaye Watkins, author of I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness

The Morningside is like nothing I’ve read—at once playful and profound, harrowing and tender, a sparklingly original story of coming of age in a broken world.”—Karen Thompson Walker, author of The Dreamers

“Obreht is offering a cautionary vision of what our future might look like, but she’s also asking questions that are as old as storytelling. What do we want to tell ourselves about ourselves? What do we try to hide from ourselves? And what’s the cost of our lives?”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“A bewitchingly atmospheric, psychologically lush, and deeply knowing tale of ancient sorrows and coalescing crises, courage and fortitude.”Booklist (starred review)