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INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERRussell manages a brutal originality. . . . [an] exceedingly complex, inventive, resourceful examination of harm and power. The New York Times Book Review, Editors ChoiceTo call this book a conversation piece or an important book feels belittling . . . [it] is so much more than that. Its a lightning rod. A brilliantly crafted novel.The Washington PostA most anticipated book by TheNew York TimesUSA Today Entertainment WeeklyMarie Claire ElleHarper's BazaarBustle Newsweek New York Post Esquire Real Simple The Sunday Times TheGuardian Exploring the psychological dynamics of the relationship between a precocious yet nave teenage girl and her magnetic and manipulative teacher, a brilliant, all-consuming read that marks the explosive debut of an extraordinary new writer.2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher. 2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenagerand who professed to worship only hermay be far different from what she has always believed?Alternating between Vanessas present and her past, My Dark Vanessa juxtaposes memory and trauma with the breathless excitement of a teenage girl discovering the power her own body can wield. Thought-provoking and impossible to put down, this is a masterful portrayal of troubled adolescence and its repercussions that raises vital questions about agency, consent, complicity, and victimhood. Written with the haunting intimacy of The Girls and the creeping intensity of Room, My Dark Vanessa is an era-defining novel that brilliantly captures and reflects the shifting cultural mores transforming our relationships and society itself.
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