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By the award-winning author of Something Wild, a gripping portrait of a tumultuous, consuming relationship between a young woman and a recovering addict
When Leah Kempler meets Charlie Nelson in line at the grocery store, their attraction is immediate and intense. Charlie, with his big feelings and grand proclamations of love, captivates her completely. But there are peculiarities of his life—he’s older than her but lives with his parents; he meets up with a friend at odd hours of the night; he sleeps a lot and always seems to be coming down with something. He confesses that he’s a recovering heroin addict, but he promises Leah that he’s never going to use again.
Leah's friends and family are concerned. As she finds herself getting deeper into an isolated relationship, one of manipulation and denial, the truth about Charlie feels as blurry as their time together. Even when Charlie’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic, when he starts to make Leah feel unsafe, she can’t help but feel that what exists between them is destined. Charlie is wide open, boyish, and unbearably handsome. The bounds of Leah’s own pain—and love—are so deep that she can’t see him spiraling into self-destruction.
Hanna Halperin writes with aching vulnerability and intimacy, sharply attuned to Leah’s desire for an all-consuming, compulsive connection. I Could Live Here Forever exposes the chasm between perception and truth to tell an intoxicating story of one woman’s relationship with an addict, the accompanying swirl of compassion and codependence, and her enduring search for love and wholeness.
Hanna Halperin is the author of Something Wild, which won the 2021 Edward Lewis Wallant Award and was a finalist for the 2021 National Jewish Book Award for Debut Fiction. Her stories have been published in The Kenyon Review, n+1, New Ohio Review, and Joyland. She has taught fiction workshops at GrubStreet in Boston and worked as a domestic violence counselor.
Moderator Joanna Rakoff is the author of the international bestselling memoir My Salinger Year and the bestselling novel A Fortunate Age, winner of the Goldberg Prize for Fiction and the Elle Readers’ Prize. Rakoff’s books have been translated into twenty languages, and the film adaptation of My Salinger Year opened in theaters worldwide in 2021 and is now streaming. She has been the recipient of fellowships and residencies from MacDowell, Sewanee, Bread Loaf, Jerome Foundation, Authors’ Guild, PEN, Ragdale Foundation, Art OMI/Ledig House, and Saltonstall; and has taught at Columbia University, Brooklyn College, and Aspen Words. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, O: The Oprah Magazine, Vogue, Elle, Porter, and elsewhere, and her new memoir, The Fifth Passenger, is forthcoming from Little, Brown in 2024.