The Shame


The Shame

A Novel
“A delicious, important moral corrective of a novel.” —SHEILA HETI
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A Refinery29 Best New Book of Fall 2020
A Literary Hub Recommended Read for August 2020
A Bustle "Most Anticipated Book of August 2020"
A Harvard Review Favorite Book of 2020, Selected by Miciah Bay Gault
A White Review Recommended Read of 2020
A Mpls.St.Paul Magazine Reading Recommendation for Fall 2020

What if you could change your life? Would you do it? How would you do it?

Alma and her family live close to the land: they raise chickens and sheep, they make maple syrup. Every day Alma’s husband leaves for his job at a nearby college while she stays home with their young children, cleans, searches for secondhand goods online, and reads books by the women writers she adores. Then, one night, she abruptly leaves it all behind—speeding through the darkness, away from their Vermont homestead, bound for New York.

In a series of flashbacks, Alma reveals the circumstances and choices that led to this moment. The joys and claustrophobia of their remote life through the passing of each season. Her fears and uncertainties about motherhood. The painfully awkward faculty dinners. Her feelings of loneliness and failure. And her growing fascination with Celeste: the mysterious ceramicist and self-loving doppelgänger whose story begins as inspiration for Alma before turning into a powerful obsession. 

A fable both blistering and surreal, The Shame is a propulsive, funny, and thought-provoking debut about a woman in isolation, whose mind—fueled by capitalism, motherhood, and the search for meaningful art—attempts to betray her. 

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5.5 × 8.5 × 0.5 in
8 oz

Makenna Goodman is the author of The Shame, which was named a Harvard Review Favorite Book of 2020, a White Review Recommended Read, a Refinery29 Best New Book, a Literary Hub Recommended Read, a Bustle Most Anticipated Book, a Book Club Pick, and more. Interviews, words, and work have been featured in the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Paris ReviewElectric LiteratureGuernicaLiterary HubCatapultThe Rumpus, the Adroit Journal, and Commonplace Podcast, and are forthcoming in the Harvard ReviewBOMB, the White Review, and the New York Review of Books. Based in Vermont, Goodman is a former editor of books on agriculture and food who writes about, among other things, the intersection of land stewardship and capitalism.

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