Alls-Well-by-Mona-Ali
2023 Longlist

All’s Well

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ABOUT
THE BOOK

From the author of Bunny, which Margaret Atwood hails as “genius,” comes an exhilarating novel about a theater professor who is convinced staging Shakespeare’s most maligned play will remedy all that ails her—but at what cost? Miranda Fitch’s life is a waking nightmare. The accident that ended her burgeoning acting career left her with excruciating chronic back pain, a failed marriage, and a deepening dependence on painkillers. And now, she’s on the verge of losing her job as a college theater director. Determined to put on Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well, the play that promised and cost her everything, she faces a mutinous cast hellbent on staging Macbeth instead. Miranda sees her chance at redemption slip through her fingers. That’s when she meets three strange benefactors who have an eerie knowledge of Miranda’s past and a tantalizing promise for her future: one where the show goes on, her rebellious students get what’s coming to them, and the invisible doubted pain that’s kept her from the spotlight is made known. All’s Well is a “fabulous novel” (Mary Karr) about a woman at her breaking point and a piercingly funny indictment of our collective refusal to witness and believe female pain.

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Mona
Awad

Mona Awad is the author of Bunny, named a Best Book of 2019 by TIME, Vogue, and the New York Public Library. It was a finalist for the New England Book Award and a Goodreads Choice Award. It is currently optioned for film with Bad Robot Productions. Awad’s debut, 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl, was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, winner of the Colorado Book Award and the Amazon Canada First Novel Award. Her most recent novel, All’s Well, was longlisted for the International Dublin Award and a finalist for a Goodreads Choice Award for Best Horror. Rouge, her fourth novel, is forthcoming September 2023 with Simon & Schuster. She teaches fiction in the Creative Writing program at Syracuse University and is based in Boston.

 

Mona Awad is the author of Bunny, named a Best Book of 2019 by TIME, Vogue, and the New York Public Library. It was a finalist for the New England Book Award and a Goodreads Choice Award. It is currently optioned for film with Bad Robot Productions. Awad’s debut, 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl, was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, winner of the Colorado Book Award and the Amazon Canada First Novel Award. Her most recent novel, All’s Well, was longlisted for the International Dublin Award and a finalist for a Goodreads Choice Award for Best Horror. Rouge, her fourth novel, is forthcoming September 2023 with Simon & Schuster. She teaches fiction in the Creative Writing program at Syracuse University and is based in Boston.

 

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NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

The plotting is a clever mishmash of Shakespeare, obviously MacBeth and All’s Well That Ends Well, though there’s a little Tempest thrown in as well. But Awad doesn’t make herself a slave to what Shakespeare dictates. She has entwined the Scottish play so brilliantly in a brutal theater production of All’s Well, that the power plays, the ghosts, the betrayals, the madness, are seamlessly incorporated, when they’re incorporated at all, because, in the end, this is pure Awad.

There is nothing Shakespearean about the finale. For a while there, authors were coming up with ways to update various Shakespeare plays through the Hogarth series. Margaret Atwood did a prison version of the Tempest. Tracy Chavelier did a playground Othello. Those were probably the two best, but there were many others. None were written with the sheer imagination and power of this. This feels like genuine inspiration, not a commission.

How Awad came up with all this is fascinating. Did she have the idea of updating MacBeth first, or All’s Well? Or maybe she just had an idea of a crazy theater production careening off the rails, and it all sprang from there? Maybe it began with some back pain one morning? It’s genuinely hard to tell. –  Cleveland Public Library, USA

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
03/08/2021
Country
Canada, United States
Original Language
English
Author
Publisher
Marysue Rucci Books/Scribner

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