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The Vulnerables

On sale

7th November 2023

Price: £24.99

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Selected: Audiobook Downloadable / ISBN-13: 9781405559034

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‘A sharp-eyed and tender novel about human connection’ (PAULA HAWKINS) from the bestselling, National Book Award-winning author of The Friend

‘A must-read about unlikely friendships’ SUNDAY TIMES STYLE

‘One of my favourite authors’ NATALIE PORTMAN

‘A novel that truly, truly speaks to the soul’ GLAMOUR

‘Makes you feel smarter and more alive’ PEOPLE

Three strangers are thrown together in one Manhattan apartment: a solitary writer; a Gen Z college drop-out; and a spirited parrot named Eureka. As the world outside descends into turmoil, the three of them must learn how to live with and care for one another – and discover what happens when strangers are willing to open their hearts to each other.

‘Compulsively readable’ ELLE

A gorgeous, funny novel about connection’ iPAPER

‘A breath of fresh air for a time when it still sometimes feels there isn’t any’ GOOD HOUSEKEEPING

‘Beautiful and profound’ MEG MASON

‘Infused with moments of hilarity and wisdom. Beautiful’ WOMAN’S WEEKLY

‘Filled with moments of the sublime’ CAROLINE O’DONOGHUE

‘Once you discover Sigrid Nunez, you don’t look back’ ANNE ENRIGHT

‘Cracks open windows and offers a reassuring breeze, reminding us that it’s OK – and perhaps even necessary – to need each other; it’s only human’ SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

‘I am committed, until one of us dies, to Nunez’s novels. They are short, wise, provocative, funny’ NEW YORK TIMES

What's Inside

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Natasha Walter
It is exciting to read a book that manages to be so honest and serious, and at the same time so playful and witty
Paula Hawkins
A sharp-eyed and tender novel about human connection in a time of crisis. As compassionate as it is disquieting, and as funny as it is painfully honest
Ayisha Malik
Nunez's writing seems always to be just what I need. The Vulnerables is a gorgeous book on ageing and regret and, as is often the case, on writing. Nunez is always posing controversial questions or ideas and leaving the reader to make up their mind. I loved it
Nunez is a master at writing vivid characters in ordinary situations and bringing them to life, making every page fly by. And The Vulnerables is no different - it's a poignant and deft portrayal of humanity in a time when nothing felt normal
[The Vulnerables] leaves us, as the novel reaches its extraordinarily hopeful and disarming last line, with the feeling that we have been helped
New York Times Book Review
Nunez's prose itself comforts us. Her confident and direct style uplifts-the music in her sentences, her deep and varied intelligence. She addresses important ideas unpretentiously and offers wisdom for any aspiring writer
Sigrid Nunez has a talent for slim, companionable novels that have both delicacy and power
Country and Town House Magazine
The Vulnerables is sharply observed, crisply honest, and funny
The Lady
Laced with humour and wit, this is a powerful portrayal of how, through connection with others, we can remain vibrant in a soul-less world
Powerful prose and insights into human connection make it compulsively readable
Sigrid Nunez is on a roll. She's tapped into a smart, wry voice which feels right for our times, as do her concerns with friendship, empathy, loss, and loneliness
Sigrid Nunez is among the most interesting writers of our generation ... Nunez is both as cold as ice about ageing (the old are "bleached and bent and shrivelled") and funny ("you reach a certain age, and it all kicks in: Social Security, Medicare and a fondness for hydrangeas") and constantly surprises you with her references (Larry David, Lily Tomlin) as well as her anecdotes (it's tough to forget the startling image of a young woman with an eating disorder who kills her appetite by coating her tongue with Tiger Balm)
Laura Marling
Long live Sigrid Nunez
Washington Post
What's consistent across Nunez's books is their searching tone about the biggest of life's questions
Irish Times
If cheerful pessimism is a thing, then Sigrid Nunez might be a leading ambassador
A gorgeous, funny novel about connection in the face of the pandemic
Boston Globe
Nunez's rare ability to be at once wistfully elegiac and sharply hilarious make The Vulnerables a gift
Daily Telegraph
Elegiac, tartly funny . . . To read it is to feel in intimate conversation with its narrator
Claire Kohda, author of Woman, Eating
Sigrid Nunez is a beautiful storyteller: there's beauty, depth, lightness and whimsy in her writing. But what I most admired was her confidence to be playful and inventive. The Vulnerables is clever, refreshing and fulfilling to read
Good Housekeeping (UK)
The elegant writing makes it a compelling read. I'm a huge fan
Dwight Garner, New York Times
I am committed, until one of us dies, to Nunez's novels. I find them ideal. They are short, wise, provocative, funny - good and strong company
Natalie Portman
One of my favourite authors
People Magazine
With the intimacy and humour of a great conversation, this novel makes you feel smarter and more alive
Anne Enright, The Times
Nunez has a wry compassion, and an eye for the kind of detail only grown-ups can catch. The books feel lived-in rather than hard-earned, the voice is smart and kind
Woman's Weekly
Infused with moments of hilarity and wisdom. Beautiful
Hilarious and deeply reflective
Los Angeles Times
What Nunez is trying to do instead is find meaning, to understand. What this feels like is an eventful, rich, addictive conversation with your smartest, funniest and most well-read friend. Except, Nunez says, the conversation takes on new dimensions and new textures when it's written down
Sheena Patel, author of I'm a Fan
The Vulnerables is full of alive, curious poetry on the chaotic times we live in
Publishers Weekly
Funny and thoughtful ... Nunez manages to make a story of mortality go down easy
Entertainment Weekly
Nunez's voice is unflinching and intimate
Spare and understated and often quite funny, the experience is less like reading fiction than like eavesdropping on someone else's brain . . . despite the grimness of the setting, the novel itself is strangely, sweetly hopeful; there is, it seems, a reason to go on. Sharp-and surprisingly tender.
It's fresh, it's funny and it's very now. It has humour and honesty in spades, both wielded in self-defence against a world that feels off-kilter and almost absurd in its terribleness, from the gig economy to the Trump 'phenomenon', from creative frustration to urban burnout. I love Sigrid's clarity and quick expression, along with her quirky range of interests, her economy and lightness of touch
Jessie Thompson, The Independent
The chic new hardback to have on your New Year reading pile . . . [Nunez is] a literary star
Anne Enright
Once you discover Sigrid Nunez, you don't look back
Daily Mail
[A] wry, thought-provoking novel
San Francisco Chronicle
Sigrid Nunez is the godmother of contemplating empathy and connection ...A novel that cracks open windows and offers a reassuring breeze, reminding us that it's OK - and perhaps even necessary - to need each other; it's only human
Wall Street Journal
Nunez gracefully leaps from big emotions, including grief, to erudite literary digressions or biting wit
Good Housekeeping
A breath of fresh air for a time when it still sometimes feels like there isn't any
Meg Mason, author of Sorrow and Bliss
Beautiful and profound
Marie Claire
In many ways, then, this is a covid diary, and while Nunez captures the strangeness of that time, she is too good a writer for it to stop there, with musings on friendship, connection, writing, grief and the many vulnerabilities that are part and parcel of being alive
The i
Above all, this is a touching, beautiful book, which underlines everyone's vulnerability to all manner of challenges facing the world, not least how to co-exist even with those you would rather discard as weeds
All kinds of vulnerability are laced through this layered, thoughtful book . . . The states of feeling she conjures are quietly shocking, reminders of the pleasures and costs of our shared humanity'
Caroline O'Donoghue
A funny, divinely chatty novel filled with moments of the sublime. I really think there are sections of this book that I'll be thinking about forever
Sarah Moss
Smart and sad and funny
Harper's Bazaar, Best Books of 2023
Grounded in an unexpected friendship between an abandoned bird and a lonely, older novelist, The Vulnerables finds new ways to expound on themes of community, companionship, and finding hope in seemingly hopeless situations