Past Event

Idra Novey in conversation with Laura van den Berg

Those Who Knew

Award-winning novelist, poet, and translator Idra Novey’s highly acclaimed Those Who Knew explores the consequences of abuse and the public exposure of abuse in the deep and truthful way only fiction can. “Gripping and astute,” Lauren Collins-Hughes wrote in her rave review for The Boston Globe, “a destabilizing, almost hallucinatory unreality wisps through Those Who Knew…but this is a hopeful novel, too.”

Those Who Knew conjures a modern-day fable that shows how profoundly public politics and private violence can contradict each other. This groundbreaking novel explores the forces—both personal and structural—that conspire in such confounding ways to let abuses of power flourish in our homes, businesses, and governments. It is a novel about our human capability for hypocrisy and monstrous acts, but also for resilience. A New York Times Editors’ Choice, Indie Next Pick and Best Book of the Year with over dozen media outlets, Pulitzer finalist Laila Lalami described it for NPR’s Best Books of 2018 as “a completely riveting…timeless novel about sex and power.”

Idra Novey is the author of the novels Those Who Knew and Ways to Disappear. She received the 2017 Sami Rohr Prize, the 2016 Brooklyn Public Library Prize and was a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize for First Fiction. Her work has been translated into twelve languages and she is the recipient of awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Poets & Writ­ers Mag­a­zine, and the PEN Translation Fund. She has translated the work of several prominent Brazilian writers, most recently Clarice Lispector’s novel The Pas­sion Accord­ing to G.H. She teaches fiction at Princeton University.

Laura van den Berg’s most recent novel, The Third Hotel, was named a best book of 2018 by over a dozen publications and was a finalist for the Young Lions Fiction Award. She is also the author of one previous novel, Find Me, and two story collections. Her honors include the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, the Bard Fiction Prize, and an O. Henry Award. Laura lives in Cambridge, MA, with her husband and dog, and is a Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Fiction at Harvard. Her next story collection, I Hold a Wolf by the Ears, is forthcoming from FSG in 2020.