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Topics of Conversation Hardcover – 3 Mar 2020

3.2 out of 5 stars 13 ratings

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Serpents Tail; Main edition (3 March 2020)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1788164040
  • ISBN-13: 978-1788164047
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 2.6 x 22.2 cm
  • Boxed-product Weight: 381 g
  • Customer Reviews: 3.2 out of 5 stars13 customer ratings
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 40,835 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product description


Each of the chapters in this exacting, exhilarating debut novel records a deeply intimate discussion the capricious, now-38-year-old narrator has had over nearly two decades with friends, maternal figures, and later, fellow single mothers. Our guess is that this book will be the topic of many conversations in 2020. * O The Oprah Magazine * Over the span of 20 years, an unnamed narrator has conversations with an eclectic set of women - conversations about shame and love, sexuality and power. Envy and guilt. Motherhood. Loneliness. The slim book is smart and raw, and Popkey dives head-on into difficult, well - how else to say it? - topics of conversation. * Washington Post * A sustained, Sally Rooney-esque brooding on our simultaneous but conflicting yearnings for autonomy and "being a vessel for the desire of others' ... As Rachel Cusk's narrator observes in Transit, "The moments when life could be observed in a meaningful arrangement were rare." Popkey's narrator traverses a series of inflection points over the course of seventeen years. She hopes to excavate some sort of arc, a scaffolding of her inner thoughts, from these discursive flashes.' * The New York Times * Miranda Popkey's debut explores the paradox of longing to assert control and longing to lose it ... She depicts what it feels like to exist, actually live, at that intersection, which can so often bring about paralysis. * New Yorker * Formally adventurous and blisteringly current, this debut novel spanning almost two decades of conversations between women wrestles with the stories women tell about desire, friendship, and violence * Esquire * Topics of Conversation masterfully maps the unknowable terrain of intimacy * Boston Globe * As she explores her own history through a shifting lens of female rivalries and friendships, the book's surface coolness begins to peel away, revealing the raw, uncommon nerve of a radically honest storyteller. * Entertainment Weekly * In luminous prose, Popkey explores the intricacies of love and desire and female friendship. Every page sparks with intelligence. -- Kirstin Valdez Quade, author of Night at the Fiestas An intimate evisceration of our narrow imaginings of female sexuality -- Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia! Penetrating, brutal, a brilliant new voice in contemporary fiction -- Ben Marcus

About the Author

Miranda Popkey was born in Santa Cruz, California in 1987. She graduated with a BA in Humanities from Yale in 2009, and with an MFA in Creative Writing from Washington University in St. Louis in 2018. She has written for, among other outlets, New Republic, the New Yorker's Page-Turner blog, Paris Review Daily, The Hairpin, The Awl, GQ.com and The Cut.

Customer reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
3.2 out of 5
13 customer ratings
5 star 43% (43%) 43%
4 star 10% (10%) 10%
3 star 10% (10%) 10%
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1 star 37% (37%) 37%
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Mary Holland
5.0 out of 5 stars stunning novel and exactly what literature needs right now
Reviewed in the United States on 13 January 2020
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1.0 out of 5 stars An experiment gone wrong
Reviewed in the United States on 28 January 2020
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Valerie D.
1.0 out of 5 stars Was hoping for better
Reviewed in the United States on 18 January 2020
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Charlotte V
1.0 out of 5 stars Same limited voice
Reviewed in the United States on 16 January 2020
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1.0 out of 5 stars I want my money back
Reviewed in the United States on 16 March 2020
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