Antonia Lively Breaks the Silence
by David Samuel Levinson
Pub Date 04 Jun 2013
Catherine Strayed is living a quiet, unremarkable life in a secluded college town following the mysterious death of her husband, a promising writer whose death may have been an accident, a suicide, or perhaps even a murder. When her former mentor (and onetime lover)—a powerful critic who singlehandedly destroyed her late husband’s chance for success—takes a teaching job at the college, Catherine’s world threatens to collapse. For with him has come his latest protégé, an exotic young woman named Antonia Lively. Antonia’s debut novel has become a literary sensation—but it is, in fact, an almost factual retelling of a terrible crime that she relates without any concern for the impact its publication will have on the lives of those involved.
As Antonia insinuates herself into Catherine’s life, mysterious and frightening things start to happen, because unbeknownst to Catherine, the younger woman intends to plunder her own dark, regrettable past—and the unsolved death of her husband—for her next literary triumph.
Provocative and cunning, Antonia Lively Breaks the Silence asserts that fiction is never truly fictional and asks, What does stealing another’s life do to your soul? Levinson spins a tale of surprises, peeling back one revelation only to find another in this tightly wrought, wickedly cynical look at the worlds of academia, publishing, and celebrity.
“A sweet, smart, tasty book, Antonia Lively Breaks the Silence hooked me from the start and swiftly pulled me to shore.” --Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story
“Levinson’s characters are wonderfully, maddeningly insistent on their own view of things, often to their detriment. This approach leaves room for great moral complexity. . . My sympathies and allegiances shifted constantly. I can't think of the last novel I read that had the power to manipulate me so well. -- Dale Peck