One of . . . Electric Literature’s "Most Anticipated Debuts of Early 2020" • O Magazine’s "31 LGBTQ Books That'll Change the Literary Landscape in 2020" • Publisher Weekly’s "Spring 2020 Literary Fiction Announcements" • Buzzfeed's "Most Highly Anticipated Books Of 2020" • The Millions's "Most Anticipated: The Great First-Half 2020 Book Preview" • The Rumpus's "What to Read When 2020 is Just Around the Corner" • LGBTQ Reads's "2020 LGBTQAP Adult Fiction Preview: January-June" • Lit Hub’s "Most Anticipated Books of 2020" • BookRiot’s "Must-Read Debut Novels of 2020"• Bitch’s "27 Novels Feminists Should Read in 2020" • Harper’s Bazaar's "14 LGBTQ+ Books to Look For in 2020"• NewNowNext’s "11 Queer Books We Can’t Wait to Read This Spring"
"A queer tour-de-force . . . Compelling and astonishing."–Kristen Arnett, author of Mostly Dead Things
Intimacy has always eluded twenty-seven-year-old Maggie Krause—despite being brought up by married parents, models of domestic bliss—until, that is, Lucia came into her life. But when Maggie’s mom, Iris, dies in a car crash, Maggie returns home only to discover a withdrawn dad, an angry brother, and, along with Iris's will, five sealed envelopes, each addressed to a mysterious man she’s never heard of.
In an effort to run from her own grief and discover the truth about Iris—who made no secret of her discomfort with her daughter's sexuality—Maggie embarks on a road trip, determined to hand-deliver the letters and find out what these men meant to her mother. Maggie quickly discovers Iris’s second, hidden life, which shatters everything Maggie thought she knew about her parents’ perfect relationship. What is she supposed to tell her father and brother? And how can she deal with her own relationship when her whole world is in freefall?
Told over the course of a funeral and shiva, and written with enormous wit and warmth, All My Mother's Lovers is the exciting debut novel from fiction writer and book critic Ilana Masad. A unique meditation on the universality and particularity of family ties and grief, and a tender and biting portrait of sex, gender, and identity, All My Mother's Lovers challenges us to question the nature of fulfilling relationships.
About the Author
Ilana Masad is a queer Israeli American fiction writer, essayist, and book critic whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, TheParis Review, NPR, BuzzFeed, Catapult, StoryQuarterly, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, as well as several others. She is the founder and host of The Other Stories podcast and a doctoral student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she also serves as the assistant nonfiction editor for Prairie Schooner. All My Mother's Lovers is her debut novel.
“Ilana Masad’s All My Mother’s Lovers is a stunning excavation of the profound destabilization of grief, the secrets that twist like vines around the root system of a family, and the terror and grace of learning to be vulnerable before others. Maggie and Iris, the daughter and mother that sit at this novel’s heart, are both indelible, with a bond that not even death can demolish. A giant-hearted and sharply funny debut.” —Laura van den Berg, author of The Third Hotel
“This ambitious, deft, compassionate debut novel finds eternal truths in a very contemporary story: that even those we care for most remain mysteries to us, that our judgments of others' lives are always inadequate, that love demands heroism. Ilana Masad is an exciting talent.” —Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You and Cleanness
“Masad’s impressive novel delves into varieties of that strange magic, love, and of its expansive, life-shaping possibilities. All My Mother's Lovers is a debut of rare and vital generosity.” —R.O. Kwon, author of The Incendiaries “In addition to writing fiction and nonfiction, Ilana Masad is one of the best contemporary book critics out there, and her debut novel is evidence that all that reading has done her good. (Brandon Taylor, author of the brand-new Real Life, called her a genius in a recent interview, so that tells you something... Brimming with enveloping writing, this is another don’t-miss.” —Electric Literature
“This remarkable portrait of a daughter’s opaque relationship with her mother reflects the strangeness and beauty of coming to see one’s parent fully as a human being.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Ilana Masad’s debut novel held my attention as early as its title, All My Mother’s Lovers, which renders a wit and promise of complication that makes for exciting reading. . . . The narrative unfolds over a funeral and shiva and will tackle identity from many angles: the familial, the sexual, the repressed, the hopeful." –Lit Hub, "Lit Hub’s Most Anticipated Books of 2020"
“A tender portrait of a fraught relationship between a mother and her lesbian daughter. . . . Masad deftly navigates a bevy of difficult topics, and the result is a beautiful novel on grief, Jewish families, motherhood, queer identities, and more.” –Alma
"Ilana Masad's debut is a queer tour de force. A tender look at love, relationships, motherhood, and how we oftentimes hurt the people we love most with our silence. Compelling and astonishing, All My Mother's Lovers is a novel with family dynamics at its heart. This book goes hard and does not disappoint. Masad is a writer on the rise." —Kristen Arnett, author of Mostly Dead Things
“An exciting fiction debut from a discerning and insightful book critic.” —Buzzfeed
“A large hearted marvel.” —O, The Oprah Magazine, “31 LGBTQ Books That'll Change the Literary Landscape in 2020”
“All My Mother’s Lovers is an absolutely beautiful novel from Ilana Masad.” —Bitch