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
  • 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 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" 


    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 


    "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 


    “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" 


    “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 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" 


    "Sudjic’s engrossing debut novel explores how technology dissolves personal boundaries while stripping away true intimacy...Disjointed, alluring, disorienting, and provoking, touching on many contemporary concerns arising from the pervasiveness of social media...[A] frenetic, timely story of digital fixation actualized."—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY 


    “The reason to read this novel, aside from the au courant topic, is the luscious, absorbing writing.” —LIBRARY JOURNAL 


    “Readers will find much to appreciate in this very contemporary bildungsroman.”—BOOKLIST 


    "Author Olivia Sudjic may only be in her late twenties...but that hasn't stopped critics from raving about her debut novel, SympathyThe Guardian even described the Cambridge-educated writer's work as 'the best fictional account... of the way the internet has shaped our inner lives'...Set in New York City, it's the story of a young woman's obsession with a Japanese writer's online presence – her 'internet twin' – and the connections they share. This is one for your summer reading list."—REFINERY 29 (UK), "The 2017 Books We're Most Excited About Right Now?" 


    "A novel about online obsession in an unnervingly opaque and anonymous digital age...Sudjic’s compulsive debut charts the depths of desperation and torment to which humans can be pushed in a warped effort to find connection."—SHEERLUXE, "The Books to Read Before Anyone Else Does" 


    "In this unbelievably accomplished first novel, Olivia Sudjic creates a narrator whose compelling voice is timeless, even as her obsessions and the tools she uses to satisfy them are up-to-the-minute modern. At once a riveting mystery and a literary tour de force, Sympathy had me spellbound from the first page to the last."—Emily Gould, author of Friendship  


    "Getting to know someone has always been a thorny affair. With the addition of personal devices, the line between bonding and surveillance has become freakishly blurred. Sympathy is a mind-bending novel that skillfully depicts the bizarre interplay of technology and intimacy with a story that is compassionate, funny, and incredibly alarming."—Claire-Louise Bennett, author of Pond 


    “Olivia Sudjic elegantly explores the warped world of intimacies formed online—and how quickly those intimacies derail. Global in scope, as subtle as it is suspenseful, Sympathy is an extraordinary debut.”—Idra Novey, author of Ways to Disappear 


    "The thoughtful, intelligent and aptly named Sympathy is an ever-expanding map of the perils of internet life and takes us on a series of coiling emotional tumbles through the rabbit holes and wormholes between URL and IRL, with a heartbreakingly modern New York Alice trying simultaneously to hold on to reality and to discover her own humanity."—Louisa Young, author of The Heroes’ Welcome and others 


    "An impressive debut. Complex, crisp and highly topical."—Vesna Goldsworthy, author of Gorsky and Chernobyl Strawberries