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Dept. of Speculation Paperback – 7 October 2014

4.0 out of 5 stars 926 ratings

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Review

"Shimmering. . . . Breathtaking. . . . Joyously demanding." --The New York Times Book Review

"Slender, quietly smashing. . . . A book so radiant, so sparkling with sunlight and sorrow, that it almost makes a person gasp." --The Boston Globe

"Powerful. . . . Exquisite. . . . A novel that's wonderfully hard to encapsulate, because it faces in many directions at the same time, and glitters with different emotional colors." --The New Yorker

"A startling feat of storytelling . . . Each line a dazzling, perfectly chiseled arrowhead aimed at your heart." --Vanity Fair

"Dept. of Speculation resembles no book I've read before. If I tell you that it's funny, and moving, and true; that it's as compact and mysterious as a neutron; that it tells a profound story of love and parenthood while invoking (among others) Keats, Kafka, Einstein, Russian cosmonauts, and advice for the housewife of 1897, will you please simply believe me, and read it?" --Michael Cunningham

"You can read Jenny Offill's new novel in about two hours. It's short and funny and absorbing, an effortless-seeming downhill ride that picks up astonishing narrative speed as it goes." --The New York Review of Books

"Gorgeous, funny, a profound and profoundly moving work of art. Jenny Offill is a master of form and feeling, and she gets life on the page in new, startling ways." --Sam Lipsyte

"Introspective and resonant. . . . Offill uses her novel to explore the question of how to be an artist as well as a wife and mother, when these states can feel impossibly contradictory." --San Francisco Chronicle

"Absorbing and highly readable. . . . Intriguing, beautifully written, sly, and often profound." --NPR

"Audacious . . . Hilarious . . . . An account of matrimony and motherhood that breaks free of the all-too-limiting traditional stories of wives and mothers. . . . It may be difficult to truly know what happens between two people, but Offill gets alarmingly close." --The Atlantic

"Piercingly honest. . . . A series of wry vignettes that deepen movingly." --Vogue

"Dept. of Speculation is a riposte to the notion that domestic fiction is humdrum and unambitious. . . . A shattered novel that stabs and sparkles at the same time. It is the kind of book that you will be quoting over and over to friends who don't quite understand, until they give in and read it too. . . . A book this sad shouldn't be so much fun to read. " --The Guardian (London)

"Whip-smart, defying description, will bring your walls down around you." --Flavorwire

"[A] mini marvel of a novel. . . . Unfolds in tart, tiny chapters suffused with pithy philosophical musings, scientific tidbits, and poetic sayings that collectively guide a brainy, beleaguered couple through the tricky emotional terrain of their once wondrous, now wobbly union." --Elle

About the Author

Jenny Offill is the author of the novel Last Things, which was chosen as a Notable Book of the Year by The New York Times and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times First Book Award. She teaches in the writing programs at Queens University, Brooklyn College, and Columbia University.


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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Vintage (7 October 2014)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 192 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0345806875
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0345806871
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 13.08 x 1.55 x 20.24 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.0 out of 5 stars 926 ratings

About the author

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Jenny Offill attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Offill teaches in the MFA programs at Brooklyn College, Columbia University and Queens University.

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Sasha58
5.0 out of 5 stars Genuine sweetness and light...but not lightweight
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 26 January 2017
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Pamela Scott
4.0 out of 5 stars A raw and incredibly sad book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 13 October 2019
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Jo VanEvery
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating use of form
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5.0 out of 5 stars and recommend to friends
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 14 March 2016
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1.0 out of 5 stars Don't expect a "Novel"
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