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Julian Ladd and Rye Adler cross paths as photography students in the exclusive Brodsky Workshop. When Rye needs a roommate, Julian moves in, and a quiet, compulsive envy takes root, assuring, at least in his own mind, that he will never achieve Rye’s certain success. Both men are fascinated with their beautiful and talented classmate, Magda, whose captivating images of her Polish neighborhood set her apart, and each will come to know her intimately – a woman neither can possess and only one can love.
Twenty years later, long after their paths diverge, Rye is at the top of his field, famous for his photographs of celebrities and far removed from the downtrodden and disenfranchised subjects who’d secured his reputation as the eye of his generation. When Magda reenters his life, asking for help only he can give, Rye finds himself in a broken landscape of street people and addicts, forcing him to reckon with the artist he once was, until his search for a missing boy becomes his own desperate fight to survive.
Months later, when Julian discovers Rye’s obituary, the paper makes it sound like a suicide. Despite himself, Julian attends the funeral, where there is no casket and no body. This sudden reentry into a world he thought he left behind forces Julian to question not only Rye’s death, but the very foundations of his life.
In this eerie and evocative novel, Elizabeth Brundage establishes herself as one of the premiere authors of literary fiction at work today.
Elizabeth Brundage is the author of four previous novels, including All Things Cease to Appear, which was a Wall Street Journal best mystery of 2016, and was the basis for the Netflix film Things Heard and Seen. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop where she received a James Michener Award, and attended the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Witness, New Letters, Greensboro Review and elsewhere. She has taught at several colleges and universities and lives with her family in Albany, New York.
Florida Voices in generously supported by the Fred J. Brotherton Endowment for Literature, established at The Four Arts by the Fred J. Brotherton Charitable Foundation. Fred Brotherton, who died in 2003, was for many years a Benefactor of The Four Arts and a strong supporter of its programs. Florida Voices, featuring the state that was Mr. Brotherton’s winter home, serves as a continuing memorial to this much-respected member of The Four Arts.