In this wickedly sharp, propulsive debut, a classicist must outmaneuver her manipulative mentor.
Tessa Templeton has thrived at Oxford University under the tutelage and praise of esteemed classics professor Christopher Eccles. Yet shortly before her thesis defense, Tessa learns that Chris has sabotaged her career—and realizes their relationship is not at all what she believed.
Driven by what he mistakes as love for Tessa, Chris has ensured that no other institution will offer her a position, keeping her at Oxford with him. His tactics grow more invasive as he determines to prove he has her best interests at heart. Meanwhile, Tessa scrambles to undo the damage, and makes a startling discovery about an obscure second-century Latin poet that could launch her into academic stardom, finally freeing her from Chris’s influence.
A contemporary reimagining of the Daphne and Apollo myth, The Latinist is a page-turning exploration of power, ambition, and the intertwining of love and obsession.
About the Author: Mark Prins is a recent graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and a recipient of fellowships from the Truman Capote Literary Trust, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and the Sun Valley Writers' Conference.
A Note From the Publisher
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"Within the first few pages of this book, I knew I was in the hands of a masterful storyteller. The Latinist is imaginative, propulsive, and wildly intelligent. What a joy to encounter a thrilling and singular new voice in fiction." - Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, author of The Nest and Good Company
"The Latinist is a novel about love and scholarship, ego and obsession, coercion and consent—a brilliant, marvelously infuriating puzzle of a book that combines the globe-trotting exploits of The DaVinci Code with the smarts and literary gifts of A.S. Byatt. A terrific debut!" - Julie Schumacher, author of Dear Committee Members and The Shakespeare Requirement
"Brainy and deftly plotted, The Latinist enchants with its deft inversions of power, its witty poetic inventions, and its passion for languages old and new. A lovely debut." - Andrea Barrett, author of Archangel and The Air We Breathe
"In The Latinist, Mark Prins weaves together an extremely contemporary plot—an American academic caught up in the machinations of her advisor at Oxford—with a much older plot—the discovery of a second century Roman poet. The two thrillingly intertwine and the result is a wonderfully suspenseful novel. The Latinist is a brilliant debut." - Margot Livesey, author of The Boy in the Field
" The Latinist is a whip-smart tale of obsession that teeters on the knife-edge of suspense and literary fiction; Mark Prins is a worthy successor to Patricia Highsmith, Donna Tartt, and Ian McEwan." - Alexandra Andrews, author of Who Is Maud Dixon?
"With its ambitious young scholar, an ancient tomb, and a scheming advisor, The Latinist is a twisty and memorable new addition to the campus-novel genre. Mark Prins propels you through his tale of breakthroughs and retribution while delivering a sharp commentary on power dynamics in academia. A cunning and insightful read—I couldn’t put it down." - Maria Hummel, author of Still Lives and Lesson in Red
"Darkly disturbing and luminously told, The Latinist is a thriller that exposes the world of cutthroat academics. Every twist is delicious and every turn breathtaking as Mark Prins’ devilish debut revels in a scholarly world of cunning, ruthlessness, and dangerous obsession. Funny, erudite, and utterly absorbing, this is a merciless tale to be relished like a guilty pleasure." - Christopher J. Yates, author of Black Chalk and Grist Mill Road
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 4 members
Reimagining the Daphne and Apollo myth and through lyrical prose, Prins tells the story of an aspiring scholar and her controlling mentor. The Latinist captures the nuances of life in contemporary academia, including the discovery of the work of a second-century poet and the control that a single renowned scholar, serving as a primary mentor, can have over the career of an aspiring academic. It's been a long time since I studied Latin, but many of those old lessons came roaring back, especially in my renewed appreciation for those who carry out translations. Huzzah to Prins for reawakening my appreciation for the field and for his accomplished first novel. I look forward to reading his next one.