All's Well

A Novel

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Pub Date 03 Aug 2021 | Archive Date 03 Aug 2021

Description

From the author of Bunny, which Margaret Atwood hails as “genius,” comes a dazzling and darkly funny novel about a theater professor who is convinced staging Shakespeare’s most maligned play will remedy all that ails her—but at what cost?

A MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK OF SUMMER 2021 SELECTED BY * ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY * VULTURE * LITHUB * REFINERY29 * GOODREADS * POPSUGAR * NOW MAGAZINE * BOSTON * AND MORE

“[A] sparkling valentine to the Bard. A dream of a novel, perfect for a midsummer night’s read.”OPRAH DAILY
“A dazzling wild ride of a novel—daring, fresh, entertaining, and magical.” —GEORGE SAUNDERS
“Wild and exhilarating and so fresh it takes your breath away.” —LAUREN GROFF
“Oh my lord what a fabulous novel—knocked me out!”—MARY KARR

Miranda Fitch’s life is a waking nightmare. The accident that ended her burgeoning acting career left her with excruciating, chronic back pain, a failed marriage, and a deepening dependence on painkillers. And now she’s on the verge of losing her job as a college theater director. Determined to put on Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well, the play that promised, and cost, her everything, she faces a mutinous cast hellbent on staging Macbeth instead. Miranda sees her chance at redemption slip through her fingers.

That’s when she meets three strange benefactors who have an eerie knowledge of Miranda’s past and a tantalizing promise for her future: one where the show goes on, her rebellious students get what’s coming to them, and the invisible, doubted pain that’s kept her from the spotlight is made known.

With prose Margaret Atwood has described as “no punches pulled, no hilarities dodged...genius,” Mona Awad has concocted her most potent, subversive novel yet. All’s Well is the story of a woman at her breaking point and a formidable, piercingly funny indictment of our collective refusal to witness and believe female pain.
From the author of Bunny, which Margaret Atwood hails as “genius,” comes a dazzling and darkly funny novel about a theater professor who is convinced staging Shakespeare’s most maligned play will...

Advance Praise

"A wicked mash-up about opioid addiction, Bard nerds, Faustian deals, and a cursed play? Yes, please." —Hillary Kelly, New York Magazine


"Wild and exhilarating and so fresh it takes your breath away, All's Well is an utterly delicious novel of pain and vitality, Shakespeare and the uncanny, and our own subtle moral failures when we brush up against the pain of others. Mona Awad's talent is so vital that it absolutely roars out of her. " — Lauren Groff, New York Times bestselling author of Fates and Furies


"A dazzling wild ride of a novel – daring, fresh, entertaining, and magical. Mona Awad is a powerful and poetic storyteller, telling us something new and profound here about the connection between suffering and elation. When I was away from this book, I longed to get back to it." — George Saunders, New York Times bestselling, Booker Prize-winning author of Lincoln in the Bardo


“In this eerie and engrossing novel, Mona Awad deftly delivers a narrator as mesmerizing as she is unreliable. Miranda’s quest for her heart’s desires illuminates the complex bargains one woman dares to make in her most desperate moments. With its mordant humor and potent surreality, All’s Well is a gripping read, and Awad is a writer of great intensity and insight.” — Helen Phillips, author of The Need 


 "For all my fellow right-thinking adoring readers of Bunny, another dark and insane gem from Mona Awad, full of scintillating insights on Shakespeare, pain, and the human condition.” — Elif Batuman, author of The Idiot, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction


"Tragic, macabre, and wicked. I laughed out loud the whole way through. One of the funniest books I’ve read in years." — Heather O'Neill, author of The Lonely Hearts Hotel

"A wicked mash-up about opioid addiction, Bard nerds, Faustian deals, and a cursed play? Yes, please." —Hillary Kelly, New York Magazine


"Wild and exhilarating and so fresh it takes your breath away...


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ISBN 9781982169664
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Featured Reviews

“All’s Well is the story of a woman at her breaking point and a formidable, piercingly funny indictment of our collective refusal to witness and believe female pain.” This is my second Mona Awad book, and I’m pleased to say that I’m absolutely hooked! Awad combines surreal elements to set a haunting dream-like stage (pun intended) that is both humorous and completely subversive. There are Chuck Palahniuk elements in both All’s Well and Bunny but still reads as something original. This is the novel I was most excited to receive an eARC for, and it lived up to all of my weird girl expectations (and then some). Do yourself a favor and preorder this book immediately! Release date is August 3rd. Thanks so much to NetGalley & Simon and Schuster for this eARC in return for an honest review!

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Book review time! In 👑 All’s Well 👑 Mona Awad has created another totally unhinged, absolutely fantastic masterpiece. I’ve been a huge fan of her writing since Bunny, and this book was right up my alley - Shakespeare and teaching? Sign me up! All’s Well is about former actor and current college theater Professor Miranda Fitch, attempting to put on a production of All’s Well That Ends Well. But she’s had debilitating back and hip pain since a fall off the stage, and her crew of student actors are staging a mutiny. I think this book is better if you don’t know much more, so I’ll leave it at that, but I’ll just say that synopsis barely scratches the surface of what this book is about. I am obsessed and fascinated by Awad’s story creativity, which I remember from Bunny, this time compounded by literary allusions and references. There was a lot of Shakespeare, a little Dorian Gray, and maybe a few connections to The Wasteland at the end - or that might have been my over-eager former English major brain reading into it! Though the plot itself is wacky enough to make readers want to devour this text, the thing that made it for me was the little stream-of-consciousness asides. Every once in a while we got a section of Miranda’s rapidly spinning out thoughts, and wow, those were incredible. This book was everything I hoped for and more from Mona Awad, an author I really enjoy, and in a Shakespeare book, a topic I’m equally into. It’s not easy to make a book so full of great literature feel so fresh, but this book did. Check it out when it comes out on August 3rd!

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In this literary horror, Miranda is the director of the theatre department of a small college who has struggled with chronic debilitating pain since she fell from the stage years ago, ending her acting career. No doctor or physical therapist has ever been able to aid her pain, so she has turned to drink and pills to keep herself afloat. Amongst her own issues, she is determined for the department to put on All's Well That Ends Well, one of the problem plays, for the annual Shakespeare production, despite the wishes of the students and staff who she is losing her control over. Bunny, also by Awad, was my favorite book of last year and has become one of my favorite books of all time. I jumped at the chance to read this in advance and I was not disappointed in the slightest. Like in Bunny, the main character is an unreliable narrator who experiences things that are never confirmed to be real or in their head in their inebriated state. Readers can feel Miranda lose her grip on reality and are just as shaken and confused as she is; Awad truly has a gift for being able to put the reader in the shoes of the main character. Her writing style is, in my mind, perfect - when you look at one sentence by itself, it is as simple as can be, but when they are strung together one after the other, the result is a dizzying tableau that conjures up intense emotion. You cannot always root for Miranda, her emotions, motives, and actions, but you want everything to turn out for her, which struck me as Shakespearean. There are other allusions to Shakespeare, such as the three men, on top of the plays being performed. My only concern with this story is that the mysticism surrounding chronic pain in this may come across as trivializing chronic pain, though I cannot believe that someone could read this and not feel a deep empathy for those with such conditions regardless of the main character's journey. Overall, this was a complete joy to read and I cannot wait to get my hands on a physical copy upon its release. Fans of Bunny will not be disappointed.

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