What We’re Reading: Bound by Antonya Nelson

Before I started to write this post, I searched for “Antonya” in my Gmail account, just to see how many times I had discussed Antonya Nelson in email conversations.

Thirteen. In the past month, I had referred to her thirteen times.

That may not seem like a large number but let’s put it in context. I typed in a few other search terms. Jonathan Franzen: seven. Amy Hempel: eight. “Mockingjay”: surprisingly, only two. James Franco? Well, I won’t reveal the number for that one.

So to have discussed Antonya Nelson’s most recent novel Bound that many times with a variety of friends demonstrates just how much I love this book. To my MFA advisor I wrote, “I read Antonya Nelson’s Bound (love her work, she makes the quietest of plots so damn loud [in the best way] with her prose).” To my dear friend Molly I gGchatted, “i just read a ton of antonya nelson/ i love her.” And to my good friend Aja, who is currently studying with Antonya in Houston’s PhD program, I wrote: “Antonya Nelson. BOUND. I die. Read it yesterday. Magical.”

I’ve been a huge fan of Nelson’s previous books (Female Trouble, In the Land of Men) and Bound doesn’t fall short. It may be a quiet narrative but that doesn’t mean Nelson’s prose lacks any power. In her novel, we follow several woven narratives: Catherine, married to a successful entrepreneur (as well as adulterer); her best friend from high school, Misty, who dies suddenly in a car accident; and Misty’s fifteen-year-old daughter, Cattie, who is left behind without any familial ties. Nelson is especially talented at portraying female characters so precisely—the novel’s tension stems from these relationships, and also from the backdrop of the headline news: the 1970s serial killer BTK.

Today, for one lucky reader, we have an autographed copy of Antonya Nelson’s beautiful book. Leave a comment here or on our Facebook page to enter.

–Megan Fishmann, Publicist


19 Comments On This Post:

December 7, 2010
9:57 am
Kassie Rose says...

I discovered Antonya Nelson with “Bound” and wondered how I’d been reading so long without knowing she existed. What an extraordinary writer, and certainly a “must continue reading” writer on my list. While I have a copy of “Bound,” I would love to have one with her signature. Thanks for keeping this great writer on the radar screen.

December 7, 2010
10:01 am
Diane says...

I began noticing her stories many years ago (25?). I look forward to reading Bound.

December 7, 2010
10:02 am
Terry B. says...

Love Antonia’s work!

Her stories always leave the best shape in my mouth.


December 7, 2010
10:04 am
Denise says...

Haven’t read any Antonya Nelson, but after reading these comments, I will! It sounds like the perfect book to settle in with this winter. Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy.

December 7, 2010
10:06 am
Mandi says...

Thanks for this “What We’re Reading”. Looking forward to reading Antonya Nelson!

December 7, 2010
10:06 am
Jon says...

I’ve never read any of her work, but this sounds great!

December 7, 2010
10:07 am
Maggi says...

Love her stories in The New Yorker! This book is in my to-read queue but I haven’t bought it yet ~

December 7, 2010
10:09 am
J. E. says...

I met Antonya Nelson at the Tin House workshop this summer. She is regal, and every bit as sharp as her prose. Delightful.

December 7, 2010
10:10 am
Teawench says...

I’ve never read her work, either, but am always on the look out for new authors to read.

December 7, 2010
10:18 am
Christine says...

Have not read Antonya … but definitely putting this on my TBR pile. Thanks for the introduction.

December 7, 2010
10:23 am
Kevin Fenton says...

She’s new to me, and i don’t think that reflects well on me. But twice as many mentions as Franzen, and that great cover, make me interested.

December 7, 2010
10:30 am
CJ Lyons says...

Haven’t read Nelson before but all the reviews I’m seeing for Bound have left me intrigued! Can’t wait to read it!

December 7, 2010
10:46 am
Marnye says...

Count me in for the drawing! twitter:MarnyeB

December 7, 2010
10:49 am
Doni Molony says...

Toss my name in the hat. Would love to read BOUND. DM

December 7, 2010
10:56 am
Cassandra Neace says...

This sounds like a very interesting read! I’d love to have a copy.

December 7, 2010
1:40 pm
Jon says...

Thanks for the contest. I am a huge fan of Antonya Nelson and would loke to win a copy of her most recent book.

December 7, 2010
11:45 pm
Kyle Minor says...

I’m glad you posted about Antonya Nelson. Female Trouble is one of my favorite books of stories. I’m looking forward to reading Bound.

December 8, 2010
12:02 am
Adrienne says...

One of your Sweet Briar workshop kids saying hi 🙂 Hope you’re doing well! Nelson’s New Yorker stories always blow me away, though I’ve never read any of her novels. I’d love to win a copy of her latest; count me in for the drawing!

December 8, 2010
8:48 am
Carianne says...

Me me me! Tried to find this book at Barnes and NOTHING the other day and it was not there.

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