This Beautiful Life: A Novel (Paperback)
Theevents of a single night shatter one family’s sense of security and identity inthis provocative and deeply affecting domestic drama from Helen Schulman, theacclaimed author of A Day at the Beach and Out of Time. In thetradition of Lionel Shriver, Sue Miller, and Laura Moriarty, Schulman crafts abrilliantly observed portrait of parenting and modern life, cunningly exploringour most deeply-held convictions and revealing the enduring strengths thatemerge in the face of crisis.
Helen Schulman writes fiction, nonfiction, and screenplays. Her last novel, This Beautiful Life, was a New York Times bestseller. She is a Professor of Writing and Fiction Chair at the MFA program at The New School. She lives in New York City with her family.
“Riveting. . . . As much as this book fiercely inhabits our shared online reality, it operates most powerfully on a deeper level, posing an enduring question about American values.” — Maria Russo, New York Times Book Review
“This Beautiful Life is as much a bracing novel as a timely cautionary tale…. Schulman has managed to capture this bizarre of-the-moment tragedy in a novel that remains deeply humane and sensitive…. This Beautiful Life is a powerful story of a good family in crisis.” — Mary McGarry Morris, Washington Post
“Schulman’s topical, unsettling new novel [is] set in Manhattan’s world of private-school privilege but chillingly relatable for parents anywhere…. Raising tough questions about child rearing, morality and the way the Internet both frees and imprisons, Schulman’s story resonates.” — People (3 ½ out of 4 stars)
“A rich, engrossing, and surprisingly nuanced novel exploring timeless questions of guilt and responsiblity.” — O, The Oprah Magazine
“This Beautiful Life isn’t just an intimate look at family breaking down under intense pressure; it’s also a sharp and unsparing indictment of a culture in search of scapegoats. In this timely and provocative novel, Helen Schulman maps out the contours of a contemporary American nightmare.” — Tom Perrotta, author of The Leftovers and Little Children
“A gripping, potent, and blisteringly well-written story of family, dilemma, and consequence. While the setting is thoroughly modern, the drama feels as ancient and inevitable as a Greek myth. I read this book with white-knuckled urgency, and finished it in tears. Helen Schulman is an absolutely brilliant novelist.” — Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Committed and Eat, Pray, Love
“In the hands of a lesser writer, this might have been simply a book about a scandal; Helen Schulman, though, has a long enough view, and a large enough heart, to have found in that scandal’s outlines a mournful and affecting portrait of our brave new social world.” — Jonathan Dee, Author of The Privileges
“Helen Schulman’s trenchant social observations and precise, lucid writing are brought to bear on the timely story of a crisis in the life of the Bergamot family…. Schulman takes on a controversial topic with depth, evenhandedness, and warmth. Spare and focused, This Beautiful Life packs a wallop.” — Kate Christensen, author of The Epicure's Lament and The Great Man
“In another writer’s hands, it might come out as a cautionary tale, but Schulman is careful not to paint anyone as villain or victim.” — Hannah Gerson, New York Observer
“A harrowing and moving account of just how much twenty-first-century technology has magnified the scope of the kind of imbecilities in which teenagers excel. It’s poignant about the fragility of even those homes that are seemingly invulnerably insulated by privilege and caring and vigilant parents.” — Jim Shepard, author of Like You'd Understand, Anyway
“With psychological acuity and cinematic pacing, Helen Schulman takes a hypercontemporary nightmare…and parlays it into a wildly compelling novel about parenting, privilege, and the fragility of happiness…. This Beautiful Life is moving, disturbing, and grandly incisive.” — Jonathan Miles, author of Dear American Airlines
“Helen Schulman is one of the most gifted writers of her generation.” — Jennifer Egan, author of A Visit from the Good Squad