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The Vexations

The Vexations

A kaleidoscopic debut novel about love, family, genius, and the madness of art, circling the life of eccentric composer Erik Satie and La Belle Époque Paris, from a writer who is “wildly entertaining” (San Francisco Chronicle), “startlingly ingenious” (Boston Globe), and “impressively sharp” (New York Times Book Review).

Erik Satie begins life with every possible advantage. But after the dual blows of his mother’s early death and his father’s breakdown upend his childhood, Erik and his younger siblings — Louise and Conrad — are scattered. Later, as an ambitious young composer, Erik flings himself into the Parisian art scene, aiming for greatness but achieving only notoriety.

As the years, then decades, pass, he alienates those in his circle as often as he inspires them, lashing out at friends and lovers like Claude Debussy and Suzanne Valadon. Only Louise and Conrad are steadfast allies. Together they strive to maintain their faith in their brother’s talent and hold fast the badly frayed threads of family. But in a journey that will take her from Normandy to Paris to Argentina, Louise is rocked by a severe loss that ultimately forces her into a reckoning with how Erik — obsessed with his art and hungry for fame — will never be the brother she’s wished for.

With her buoyant, vivid reimagination of an iconic artist’s eventful life, Caitlin Horrocks has written a captivating and ceaselessly entertaining novel about the tenacious bonds of family and the costs of greatness, both to ourselves and to those we love.
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Genre: Fiction / Fiction / Historical

On Sale: June 18th 2019

Price: $13.99

Page Count: 320

ISBN-13: 9780316316934

What's Inside

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Reader Reviews

Praise

"I've loved Caitlin Horrocks's work for a long time, so I am not surprised--though I am overjoyed--to find that she has written a gorgeous, sensitive, deeply immersive novel in The Vexations. You'll never hear the music of Erik Satie again without diving back into the layers of genius, torment, eccentricity, abandonment, and profound sadness that Horrocks so masterfully evokes in this beautiful book."—Lauren Groff, National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author of Fates and Furies and Florida
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Praise for THIS IS NOT YOUR CITY:

"Wildly entertaining... These are delicate, character-driven stories whose distinct narrators demonstrate the hand of a remarkably versatile writer...Caitlin Horrocks is writing well beyond her years, not only raising our expectations of what a story can do but also setting a high standard for any debut fiction author."
Wayne Harrison, San Francisco Chronicle
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"Startlingly ingenious writing...Many of the stories have a note of what could be called sprightly heartbreak...Horrocks's is a formidably promising imagination."—Richard Eder, Boston Globe
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"Impressively sharp...Appealingly rugged-hearted...Though diverse in style and point of view, Horrock's stories share one consuming fixation. We live in a world studded with cruelty...But she deploys love and humor as convincingly as dread."—Robin Romm, New York Times
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