The Blackmailer’s Guide to Love: A Novel (Paperback)

The Blackmailer’s Guide to Love: A Novel By Marian Thurm Cover Image
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Description


Chosen by Kirkus Reviews as one of the best books of fiction of 2021

One of the many well-educated Ivy League graduates with literary ambitions who flock to New York City every year, 25-year-old Melissa Fleischer has the great fortune to being hired as the assistant to Austin Bloch, an editor responsible for refining and publishing the work of some of America’s most esteemed writers. But after she begins working at this prestigious magazine in the late 1970’s, Mel soon learns that the extravagantly long lunches her boss indulges in actually belie his affairs with a stream of young women. Mel is left in the distressing position of lying about these never-ending betrayals to Austin’s wife, Hillarie, who often calls while he is out of the office.

But then, unexpectedly, the New Yorker begins publishing Mel’s short stories, offering a spectacular start to what she hopes will be a long and fruitful writing career. Unfortunately, the exhilaration of being published by the magazine she reveres most is soon diminished both by Mel’s deeply painful discovery that her own marriage—like Austin’s—is far from idyllic, and her continuing complicity in his betrayals. And nothing seems more difficult than the effort it will take to keep her marriage from falling apart.

About the Author


Marian Thurm is the author of seven novels and four short story collections, including the most recent, Today Is Not Your Day, a New York Times Editors’ Choice and The Pleasure Palace (published May 2021). Her novel The Clairvoyant was a New York Times Notable Book. Her short stories have appeared in the New Yorker, the Atlantic, the Michigan Quarterly, Narrative Magazine, the Southampton Review, and many other magazines, and have been included in The Best American Short Stories, and numerous other anthologies. Her books have been translated into Japanese, Swedish, Dutch, German, and Italian. She has taught at Yale and Barnard, in the MFA programs at Columbia University and Brooklyn College, the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence, and at the Yale Writers’ Workshop.

Praise For…


“Sparkling . . . [with] a bouncy roman à clef charm.” — Publishers Weekly

“A juicy roman à clef sympathetically imagines two young women on opposite sides of an extramarital affair. . . . Beautifully written, both sharp and bighearted, funny and true.” — Kirkus, starred review

“Clever, surprising plots developments abound, and exquisitely drawn characters have their perceptions radically changed when they are forced to confront temptations, conflicts and unexpected challenges. Thurm's literary authority is on full display in this deeply engrossing and dramatically juicy novel." — Shelf Awareness

“This is the book I needed and adored. With writing so beautiful; but wait—don’t mistake ‘beautiful’ for ‘at the expense of storytelling’—because A Blackmailer’s Guide to Love gave me characters so real, so sympathetic, so human, that their good and bad deeds made for compulsive, rewarding, delicious reading. When you can’t wait to tell your novel-loving friends about the treat they have in store, that is the test of true book love.” — Elinor Lipman, author of Rachel to the Rescue and Good Riddance 

“If Dorothy Parker had tried writing Fatal Attraction, she might have come up with something like this wonderfully wry roman à clef about New York’s overheated literary world in the 70s. Although Marian Thurm is a far more compassionate observer of human nature, and her appealingly troubled characters, by turns funny, touching and unsettling, are completely her own.” “Through her wide-eyed young heroine, Thurm wonderfully conveys the fantasies, disillusions, and vanities of literary New York in the late 1970s. Her biting sketches of the era's key figures bring that lost world alive in granular detail.” Andrea Barrett, author of The Air We Breathe and Archangel “Thurm spins a story about love and ambition, and the cost of both, focusing on a desperate-to-be-known writer, her philandering boss, her confused, straying husband, and the wily paramour who’s out to blackmail him. Smart, savvy, heartbreakingly funny, and oh so wise, with prose like sparklers on every page. Writers are going to absolutely adore this book, but hey, so will everyone else on the planet.” Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Picture of You and With or Without YouSuzanne Berne, author of The Dogs of Littlefield

“Through her wide-eyed young heroine, Thurm wonderfully conveys the fantasies, disillusions, and vanities of literary New York in the late 1970s. Her biting sketches of the era's key figures bring that lost world alive in granular detail.” — Andrea Barrett, author of The Air We Breathe and Archangel

“Thurm spins a story about love and ambition, and the cost of both, focusing on a desperate-to-be-known writer, her philandering boss, her confused, straying husband, and the wily paramour who’s out to blackmail him. Smart, savvy, heartbreakingly funny, and oh so wise, with prose like sparklers on every page. Writers are going to absolutely adore this book, but hey, so will everyone else on the planet.” — Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Picture of You and With or Without You

Product Details
ISBN: 9781953002105
ISBN-10: 1953002102
Publisher: Delphinium
Publication Date: May 17th, 2022
Pages: 336
Language: English