April 5, 2019: In a cozy brownstone in Brooklyn, the veneer of domestic bliss is beginning to crack. Dan and Isabel, husband and wife, are slowly drifting apart--and both, it seems, are a little bit in love with Isabel's younger brother, Robbie. Robbie, wayward soul of the family, who still lives in the attic loft; Robbie, who, trying to get over his most recent boyfriend, is living vicariously through a glamorous avatar online; Robbie, who now has to move out of the house--and whose departure threatens to break the family apart. And then there is Nathan, age ten, taking his first uncertain steps toward independence, while his sister Violet, five, does her best not to notice the growing rift between her parents.
April 5, 2020: As the world goes into lockdown, the cozy brownstone is starting to feel more like a prison. Violet is terrified of leaving the windows open, obsessed with keeping her family safe. Isabel and Dan communicate mostly in veiled sleights and frustrated sighs. And dear Robbie is stranded in Iceland, alone in a mountain cabin with nothing but his thoughts--and his secret Instagram life--for company.
April 5, 2021 Emerging from the worst of the crisis, the family reckons with a new, very different reality--and with what they've learned, what they've lost, and how they might go on.
Michael Cunningham's novels include A Home at the End of the World, Flesh and Blood, Specimen Days, By Nightfall, and The Snow Queen, as well as the collection A Wild Swan and Other Tales and the nonfiction book Land's End: A Walk in Provincetown. He is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant, a Whiting Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and his work has appeared in The New Yorker and The Best American Short Stories. The Hours was a New York Times bestseller and the winner of both the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Raised in Los Angeles, Cunningham lives in New York City and is a professor in the practice at Yale University.
Cunningham will be in conversation with Maureen Corrigan. Maureen Corrigan has been the book critic for NPR's Fresh Air for more than thirty years. She’s also the Nicky and Jamie Grant Distinguished Professor of the Practice in Literary Criticism at Georgetown University. She is the author of two books of her own; Leave me Alone I'm Reading and So We Read On: How the Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why it Endures, which was named one of the ten best books of the year by Library Journal. Aside from her reviews and essays for the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, Maureen has also written reviews for the New York Times, the Boston Globe and The Nation among others. She is an associate editor of and contributor to Mystery and Suspense Writers and the winner of the 1999 Edgar Award for Criticism. She's also the winner of the 2018 Nona Balakian Award for Excellence in Reviewing given by the National Book Critics Circle. In 2012 she served as a juror for the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction—along with Michael Cunningham.