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A Novel

Title Details

Pages: 376

Illustrations: b&w interior

Trim size: 5.500in x 8.500in



Pub Date: 03/15/2022

ISBN: 9-780-5789-0528-0

List Price: $24.95


Pub Date: 03/15/2022

ISBN: 9-780-5789-4053-3

List Price: $14.99


A Novel

A novel about mending relationships and the relationships that change us forever

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  • Description
  • Reviews
  • Awards

A story about the ties that bind us, Close-Up explores what makes, drives, complicates, and undermines our most important relationships.

In this artful, expansive novel, we follow five protagonists—Jacob, Martin, Caroline, Jeanie, and Jill—through love, marriage, parenthood, and the romance of friendship as they struggle to make sense of themselves and each other and of what makes for good art, good magic, and a good life. What follows is a story only Michelle Herman could write: one of missed connections and old grievances, of loneliness and longing, of rifts and reconciliations and redemption. Close-Up depicts the fraught entanglements of the relationships we’re born into and those we choose—carefully or with abandon—with the precision and nuance that has characterized her work over the last thirty years.

In her captivating new novel, Close-Up, Michelle Herman unfolds a complex family history in which abandonment has caused painful estrangements and unexpected alliances. With subtle wit and unshakeable confidence, Herman demonstrates the alternating forms a family can take: a refuge, a prison, a solace, a vexation, one at a time or all at once, and right before your eyes. Close-Up is a magic act of a novel and not just because its main character is a magician.

—Valerie Martin, author of Property and I Give It to You

Michelle Herman’s novel is one of those books that I read in the full belief that its characters are real. No way could Caroline and Jacob not exist; their buoyant conversation, their predicaments, their struggles to grow up whole (and sane) in the company of their infuriating parents were too alive on the page to be merely—merely?!—constructed by this canny and sophisticated, tough and tender author. Her novel, both wise and smart, is wholly deserving of its place as the first winner of the Donald L. Jordan Literary Prize for Excellence.

—Rosellen Brown, author of The Lake on Fire


Donald L. Jordan Prize for Literary Excellence, Columbus State University

About the Author/Editor

MICHELLE HERMAN is the author of the novels Missing, Dog, and Devotion and the collection of novellas A New and Glorious Life, as well as three essay collections—The Middle of Everything, Stories We Tell Ourselves, and Like A Song—and a book for children, A Girl's Guide to Life. She writes a popular parenting column for Slate and has taught creative writing for many years at Ohio State. She lives in Columbus, Ohio.