By Juliet Lapidos

‘Inspired’ New York Times

‘Deliciously funny’ Helen Oyeyemi

‘Enormously entertaining’ Lionel Shriver

‘Smart, brilliant … I love it so much!’ Joanna Cannon

A wickedly caustic tale of a student who stumbles on a literary treasure.

Anna Brisker, a once promising student, has fallen behind. Her PhD on inspiration is overdue and instead she busies herself with power-eating strawberry pop tarts and watching as her doctoral peers fly off to take posts at prestigious universities.

Alone over the holidays, Anna strikes up an unexpected and life-changing friendship. But what can Helen Langley, a middle-aged antiquarian bookbinder, have in her possession that might unlock Anna’s thesis and her chronic inertia? And what laws will Anna break to get it?

Lean and compulsively readable, Talent is a literary romp that delights in its wicked lampooning of the academic world and asks how far we should go to meet our potential. And in Anna Brisker, we have an audacious heroine who cannot help but shine with mordant brilliance.

Format: Hardback
Release Date: 07 Feb 2019
Pages: 256
ISBN: 978-0-00-828120-5
Juliet Lapidos is a senior editor at The Atlantic. Previously, she was editor of the op-ed page at the Los Angeles Times, an opinion editor at the New York Times, and a culture editor at Slate. She holds a B.A. from Yale University and an M.Phil from Cambridge University, where she was a Gates Scholar.

”'An unusual, involving literary mystery with a dry sense of humour” - Grazia

”'I enjoyed the wry take on academia; the visceral competition, the jaded supervisors, the imposing architecture, even the bars” - Daily Mail

”'Enormously entertaining” - Lionel Shriver

”'Lapidos' stabs at literary counterfeiting are inspired. She intersperses Anna's feckless investigation into Langley's past with notebook jottings that convincingly evoke the hunting and gathering of an alert writer as he sifts for fodder from childhood trauma and the detritus of daily experience” - New York Times Book Review

”'A smart, brilliant story - and so very wise and observant, and filled with such fabulously dry humour. I love it so much!” - Joanna Cannon

”'The ultimate literary caper … deliciously funny” - Helen Oyeyemi

”'A taut existential thriller for the philosophical detective in each of us… a gimlet-eyed, penetratingly comedic take on the campus novel” - Alexandra Kleeman, author of You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine

”'A clever and delightfully complicated debut novel… Each bend in this story raises more questions than are answered, in the best of ways and right to the end. More than a few little Easter eggs of literary trivia are offered along the way, too” - San Francisco Chronicle

”'A wry meditation on ambition and an ingeniously constructed parable for our times …. with wide-ranging erudition and pitch-perfect repartee” - Lucy Ives, author of Impossible Views of the World

”'A fast-moving, witty, literary adventure. With Pop-Tarts” - John Crowley, author of Little, Big

”'I love a campus novel, especially when nearly everyone on campus is equally clueless. With dry, witty prose and a motley assortment of sharp voices, Talent finds hypocrisy and obsession in all the right places” - Rosecrans Baldwin, author of The Last Kid Left