by Monica Datta
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Pub Date 26 Mar 2024 | Archive Date 19 Mar 2024
Astra Publishing House, Astra House
Told in short passages through a musical device, this international story follows Julienne and Gaspar to Syria, China, Germany and elsewhere.
Julienne, a student of sculpture, and Gaspar, a young composer, fall in love at a small college and share a home for more than a decade before encountering the fundamental rift that will change their lives. The reverberations of grief force Julienne to confront her painful past including the mystery of her own birth and the fantastical story ascribed to it by her flight attendant mother, so that she can envision, for the first time, a real future.
Ultimately, Thieving Sun is a profound and contemporary meditation on art, grief, debt, suicide, loss, and the danger of being alive.
"Monica Datta's prose gallops like music and glitters like shards. Formally daring and compulsively readable, Thieving Sun heralds the arrival of an extraordinary talent." —Susan Choi, author of National Book Award winner Trust Exercise
"Thieving Sun is a highly intelligent, staggeringly inventive novel structured by music scales indicating time, but it's more than that: emotionally powerful, sad, whimsical, and beautiful, this book is a dizzying delight. Monica Datta is a startlingly inventive writer who has written a moving story of love and loss. Absolutely brilliant." —Brandon Hobson, author of National Book Award finalist The Removed
"Intricate, enigmatic, piccant and fascinating." —Lucy Ellman, author of Goldsmiths Prize winner Ducks, Newburyport
MARKETING AND PUBLICITY PLANS • Cover reveal on Astra House social media • National media campaign including print, radio, podcasts, and online coverage • Pitch for feature stories and profiles, as well as original pieces by the author • Target outreach to publications and reviewers focused on debuts, literary fiction, experimental fiction, multidisciplinary writing, and global literature • Select author tour including independent bookstores and festivals • Fiction awards campaign • Library promotion • Book club promotion
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 5 members
Monica Datta’s debut novel “Thieving Sun” is a delight. The narrative is erudite and compelling. Word choice is delicate and meticulous. The main characters, Julienne and Gaspar, are complex, flawed, elegant, and beguiling - often struggling, though maybe not always strongly enough.
“Thieving House” is a special treat for art lovers. It is sophisticated and subtle. References to sculpture, world music, drama, architecture abound. Travel is provided liberally around the world.
In addition to being a demonstrably gifted and talented writer, teacher and coach, Datta’s training as an architect is put to wonderful use. The structure of the “Thieving Sun” is unique - a collage that is a challenge and a charm. Single letters, often with a symbol, open each chapter. All but the most devoted literary sleuths are encouraged to check the Notes section where Datta graciously provides some, if not all, roadmap clues. This results in the characters evolving, narrative spaces being filled-in. A reader’s attention is easily held - wanting to ensure that subtle clues are never missed.
Monica Datta is bursting with talent. Here’s to hoping for the success of “Thieving Sun” while eagerly looking forward to coming attractions.
Thanks to Astra House and NetGalley for the eARC.
The tone of this novel was ethereal. It was at once thrilling and melancholic to uncover the story of this couple’s demise. As a reader, I felt as though I was solving a puzzle and achieving something, but as a human being I felt like I was spying on the intimate interactions of the protagonists. The quiet rumination on every page was musical, and the use of stream of consciousness lent itself well to the musicality.
I've been really curious about Astra House since they published two of my favorite books last year that were crazy different from each other, Tyriek White's We Are a Haunting, and Esther Yi's Y/N, and now I want to devour everything they print. This book is totally different from those two, and I loved it just as much!!! It's VERY experimental, so be prepared for that. This might sound weird but it was like a spiderweb, crystal-like and with a logic that is at the same time very raw and very cerebral with the musical scales and the story plotted around them like a puzzle or a riddle. The writing style is beautiful, like poets' novels. It's also a great book about depression that isn't depressing. Despite everything that life threw at Julienne, I really wanted her to be happy.
Thank you to NetGalley and Astra House for the ARC! It's beautiful but (purely technical note) a little sticky to load and needs page numbers in the notes!
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