Apology (back cover)


“A perfectly paced, deeply satisfying novel.” —RON RASH
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When nine-year-old Tom Serafino’s twin sister, Teagan, suffers a debilitating brain injury, a police investigation implicates his playmate Mario’s uncle, a transient immigrant worker known as Shoe. Innocent of the crime but burdened by his own childhood tragedy, Shoe takes the blame for the accident caused by his young nephew, ensuring Mario’s chance at a future publicly unscarred.

Told in vivid scenes alive with imagery, this striking debut novel explores how the decisions we make in an instant reverberate for years to come. Can a lie born from resignation, fear, and love transform tragedy into hope? And is the life of one man worth the price of that lie?

Deeply empathetic and beautifully written, Apology offers a powerful vision of the measure of duty we have toward one another, and the extent to which abandoning the wreckage of family and the past often leads to unexpected consequences.

Publish Date
5.5 × 8.5 × 0.5 in
9.8 oz

Jon Pineda

Jon Pineda is the author of Apology, which won the Milkweed National Fiction Prize in 2013. His other work includes the memoir Sleep in Me and three collections of poems. In 2016, he received the Library of Virginia Literary Award.

Praise and Prizes

  • Apology is a perfectly paced, deeply satisfying novel. Jon Pineda renders his characters with a compassion that refuses to lapse into sentimentality.”

    Ron Rash
    author of Serena
  • “Jon Pineda has written a novel that is, by any standard, an impressive success. Apology is a page-turner of ideas, and it shows us how our actions spin out in crazy directions, marbles that roll under our lives’ furniture and come out in the most surprising times. I loved it.”

    Darin Strauss
    author of Half a Life
  • “A spare and powerful novel about guilt, sacrifice, and the cruel butterfly effect sometimes triggered by our seemingly inconsequential acts. Jon Pineda writes with precision and humanity.”

    Jonathan Evison
    author of West of Here
  • Apology is structured around an essential and enduring question, and when its characters do the right thing for the wrong reason (or vice versa), the effects of those decisions are strongly felt—and remind the reader of the literary power of decisiveness.”

    Minneapolis Star Tribune
  • “A hauntingly poetic first novel about mistakes, love, and sacrifice … Writing in simple and stunning prose, Jon Pineda lets readers experience events as they’re happening… . Pineda continues to rise.”

    Library Journal
    (starred review)