Sympathy

by Olivia Sudjic

An electrifying debut novel of obsessive love, family secrets, and the dangers of living our lives online 

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN-13/ EAN: 9780544836594
  • ISBN-10: 0544836596
  • Pages: 416
  • Publication Date: 04/04/2017
  • Carton Quantity: 12

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About the Book
About the Author
Reviews
  • About the Book
    One of Entertainment Weekly's "16 Debut Novels to Read in 2017" 

    One of the Observer's "New Faces of Fiction for 2017" 

    One of Elle UK’s “Six Top Debut Authors of 2017”? 

    One of i-D/Vice's "10 Brilliant Emerging Female Authors to Read in 2017" 

     

    An electrifying debut novel of obsessive love, family secrets, and the dangers of living our lives online 

     

    At twenty-three, Alice Hare leaves England for New York. She becomes fixated on Mizuko Himura, a Japanese writer living in New York, whose life story has strange parallels to her own and who she believes is her “Internet twin.” What seems to Mizuko like a chance encounter with Alice is anything but—after all, in the age of connectivity, nothing is coincidence. Their subsequent relationship is doomed from the outset, exposing a tangle of lies and sexual encounters as three families across the globe collide, and the most ancient of questions—where do we come from?—is answered just by searching online. 

      
    In its heady evocation of everything from Haruki Murakami to Patricia Highsmith to Edith Wharton, Sympathy is utterly original—a thrilling tale of obsession, doubling, blood ties, and our tormented efforts to connect in the digital age.
  • About the Author
  • Excerpts
  • Reviews
    One of Entertainment Weekly's "16 Debut Novels to Read in 2017" 

    One of the Observer's "New Faces of Fiction for 2017" 

    One of Elle UK’s “Six Top Debut Authors of 2017”? 

    One of i-D/Vice's "10 Brilliant Emerging Female Authors to Read in 2017" 

    One of Flavorwire's "10 Must-Read Books for April" 

    One of Bustle's "11 Of The Best Fiction Books Coming Out In April 2017" 

    One of ReadItForward's "17 Books We're Excited to Read in 2017" 

    One of the Lady Magazine's "Must-reads for 2017" (UK) 

    One of Refinery 29's "2017 Books We're Most Excited About Right Now?" (UK) 

    One of Autostraddle's "45 Queer Feminist Books To Read in Early 2017" 

    One of Hello Giggles's "15 new books we can’t wait to read in April" 

    One of Signature Read's "Nowhere to Hide: 5 Books on the Changing Art of Stalking?" 

     

    “Clever, riddled with a network of allusions similar to that of Marisha Pessl’s Special Topics in Calamity Physics…Olivia Sudjic’s smart debut novel is an uncomfortably contemporary tale of unrequited love in the internet age.”—THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW 

      

    "Sympathy will double-click your heart."—VANITY FAIR 

     

    “In the digital age, the lives of glamorous others have never felt more tantalizingly near, or so finds the lonely antiheroine of Olivia Sudjic’s Sympathy.”—VOGUE 

     

    "Sudjic’s figurative approach to depicting social media is what really marks [Sympathy] as thefirst truly literary book largely about Instagram...Sympathy is an exceptionally unnerving read. The book explores digital power dynamics, and the deep implication of our selves with these dynamics, with a sophistication that never feels pretentious. Sympathy is a remarkable debut, and with the arrival of such a novelist we can finally welcome our techno-dystopian future with open arms."—NEW REPUBLIC 

     

    "A  new direction for literature and fiction."—NPR, Weekend Edition 

     

    "In this zeitgeisty debut, Olivia Sudjic has revealed herself to be an erudite writer who can weave together themes of online obsessions, family secrets and unexpected parallel lives...Filled with explosive intelligence and dark humour, Sympathy is both beautiful and raw, and captures the essence of personal responsibility in the digital age."—ELLE (UK) 

     

    Sympathy by Olivia Sudjic [is] the best fictional account I’ve read of the way the internet has shaped our inner lives. A literary thriller that confirms the arrival of a major new talent.”THE GUARDIAN 

     

    "The book of the summer...Sympathy opens with what must be the most intense description of an Instagram follow request ever committed to print...With this, the stage is set for a contemporary tale of obsession...What makes Sympathy such a standout in its approach to social media is a move way from Black Mirror-style satire and, instead, a smart and lyrical evocation of that murky emotional terrain between our online and offline selves...Full of wry humour and sharp observations."—VICE (UK)  

     

    “A fascinating story about how we connect in the digital age… Imagine Alice Through the Looking Glass for the Instagram generation and you’ll get a sense of Sympathy… it explores the obsession of one young woman with another, an obsession fed by social media feeds and resulting in a slow but devastating slippage of identity… At more than 400 pages, Sympathy serves up David Mitchell levels of plot; it is also subtly mimetic… [its] narrative advances like a search, link by link, as Alice follows her nose through meat – and cyberspace – leaving not breadcrumbs but photos behind… But if Sympathy is in part a cautionary tale, its author is very far from po-faced: abuzz with ideas and enthusiasm, she leaves you convinced that there’s much, much more to come.”—OBSERVER, "Meet the new faces of fiction for 2017" 

     

    "As the novel [...] so chillingly illustrates, what social media actually offers is more often the illusion of connection...Fittingly, the narrative is held together by a dream-like disjointedness...the reading experience rendered akin to that of losing oneself online...A gripping odyssey into one woman’s online-addled inner life that shrewdly ties together the age-old hubris of youth with a particular sort of new digital naïveté."—INDEPENDENT (UK) 

     

    “An all-too-real depiction of the fickle feeling of closeness the internet can inspire.”—i-D/ VICE, "10 brilliant emerging female authors to read in 2017" 

     

    "Olivia Sudjic's Sympathy is the addictive new book about Instagram that everyone is reading."—EVENING STANDARD (UK) 

     

    “A dark, spellbinding reflection on relationships in the Digital Age, Sympathy is a debut that will have you rethinking the way life online intersects with existence offscreen.” —REFINERY 29 

     

    "This debut novel takes the internet and its discontents as its subject through the story of a virtual obsession turned IRL."—FLAVORWIRE, "10 Must-Read Books for April" 

     

    "Sympathy is a haunting exploration of our digital lives, and as dizzyingly addictive as scrolling through your ex’s Facebook pictures."—DIVA MAGAZINE (UK) 

     

    “Olivia Sudjic’s skillful debut novel plays on the idea that everything in our digital lives is seen through some sort of filter—so where, exactly, lies the truth?”—READITFORWARD, "17 Books We're Excited to Read in 2017" 

     

    Sympathy turns out to be—like so many mysteries—a book about the past rising back into the present and setting everything askew. It’s a haunting conclusion to a novel that’s frequently disarming.”—LITHUB 

     

    "A brilliantly claustrophobic read, as Alice gets caught up in a tangle of lies and sexual encounters, and begins to lose sight of who she really is."—PSYCHOLOGIES MAGAZINE (UK) 

     

    "Sympathy tells the thrilling story of Alice and Mizuko, two people who get a lot more than they expected from their online connection." —HELLO GIGGLES, "15 new books we can’t wait to read in April" 

      

    “What unfolds is a dark narrative about the far-fetched connections we create online and in our heads, and how we attempt to pass them along as sheer fate or coincidence.” —STET MAGAZINE 

     

    “Olivia Sudjic’s engrossing debut novel, Sympathy, explores how technology dissolves personal boundaries. Alice, rece...

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