A Cure for Suicide: A Novel (Vintage Contemporaries)
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***LONG-LISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD***
A man and a woman have moved into a small house in a small village. The woman is an "examiner," charged with teaching the man a series of simple functions—this is a chair, this is a fork, this is how you meet people. Still, the man is haunted by strange dreams, and when he meets a charismatic, volatile young woman named Hilda at a party, it throws everything he has learned into question. What is this village? And why is he here?
A fascinating novel of love, illness, despair, and betrayal, A Cure for Suicide is the most captivating novel yet from one of our most audacious and original young writers.
who has much more knowledge might make decisions without paying any attention to truth. That person is ignorant. —A mechanism, she continued, is the way a thing is gone about. They went into the kitchen. On the wall was a painting of a woman feeding chickens with millet. The millet poured from her hand in a gentle arc. Around about her feet the chickens waited in a ring, looking up at her. When the arc made its way to the ground, they would eat. Beside it was a photograph of a hill. There was
same—because you are not differentiating between them? We could call that a case of their being—the same to you. Is that possible? —I think, he said, I think they have been the same. —But if they were different, she asked, would you have known? —I think I would know, he said. —And would it matter? —I don’t know. I don’t think so. —If it wouldn’t matter, then isn’t it a bit difficult to say for sure which way it was? —I guess so, said the claimant. The villages are the villages—they are a
just now returning to life. At the moment, I am working on a paper for an upcoming conference. Then, Sasha would ask about the paper, and Henry would say, I am not in the business of talking about papers that are not complete. And someone would come to the table with a letter and present it to Henry, saying, Professor Caul, here is a letter for you, just arrived. And Henry would put it into a pocket in his coat. He would not even look at it. When the dinner was through and they were standing
be constantly at my service. That isn’t the life I have led, nor is it the life I want to lead. Then you leave the room, and when you return, your family and friends, so sophisticated and strong are they, that they hold to your wishes. A perfectly acceptable evening goes forward, and at some point in the night, the guests all go home, so I told the interlocutor. Now, the next day, there is a knock at the door of your house. It is the young man. His name is Clement. He wants to see you, and you
was a loaf of bread from the best bakery in the city. The other was a small piece of cheese from a grocer near the museums. Neither one of these items would be at a disadvantage anywhere. Even if they were to appear in my room, that low place, they would maintain the real integrity of their quality. I felt I could give her a good morsel of food and not be embarrassed. However, now there were no possessions at all. When I spoke to the manager, so I told the interlocutor, he said that he would give