Gun Love

9781524761684-fullsize-rgbLonglisted for the 2018 National Book Award for Fiction

A New York Times Editor’s Choice

An Amazon Best Book of the Month

A Los Angeles Review of Books Tom’s Book Club selection

An O, The Oprah Magazine Best Books to Read in April 2018 pick

“Though this world is harrowing, it’s also fortified with ample wit and tenderness. The sweet sorrow of doomed maternal love is at the novel’s thrumming center, as is the author’s cockeyed affection for the region. “In our part of Florida everything was puzzled,” Pearl tells us. Gun Love potently illuminates this puzzled land, and the complicated fates of those who dwell in the pockets visitors won’t find on a map.”—Laura Van Den Berg, O, The Oprah Magazine

“Full of sorrow and aching sweetness, Gun Love provides a glimpse of people who dwell every day knee deep in the toxic waste of our gun culture. They may be America’s forgotten children, but after reading this novel, you are not likely to forget them.”—Ron Charles, The Washington Post

“This book feel like a great lost murder ballad by the likes of Johnny Cash or Nick Cave . . . There are echoes here of other great chroniclers of violence, such as Cormac McCarthy, and this is one of those rare books that the reader might wish to be a few dozen pages longer, to spend some more time in this fully realized world.”—Alexander Larman, The Observer

“Offer[s] a glimpse of what a poetics of gun violence might look like… In this book, the machinery of violence purchases a sense of belonging—of thrilling, life-or-death simplicity.”—Katy Waldman, The New Yorker

“Enthralling . . . a fable of modern American violence, and the resilience it takes to survive a childhood in its shadow.”—Erin Keane, Salon

“This novel cast a deep spell on me that has yet to subside . . . it’s taut, spare, musical, metaphor-laden, haunting, and every so often it hits you so hard in the gut that you gasp.”—Jonathan Miles, BookPage

“Clement creates a weird poetry of murderous force. Chekhov’s narrative principle—that a gun hung on the wall in the first act must eventually go off—has become a metaphorical rule of storytelling. To reflect American reality, Ms Clement puts a gun on every wall in every room.”—The Economist

“President of PEN International, Clement is a brilliant stylist; her figurative language is far more than fine; her metaphors and similes are superb; and together they create a haunting atmosphere—sometimes fey, occasionally whimsical, no stranger to tragedy but always heartfelt and spot-on, as are her beautifully realized, captivating characters. Though sui generis, her work may remind some readers of Flannery O’Connor’s. Always evocative, it is an unforgettable knockout not to be missed.”—Booklist (starred review)

“In her excellent fifth novel, Clement tackles homelessness, America’s love affair with guns, and the economic despair of folks living on the dark edge of society. Affecting and memorable . . . an incisive social commentary that will give readers much to ponder.”—Publishers Weekly

“With lyrical grace, Clement crafts the careful refrains of Pearl’s life. Clement’s quiet tragedy is moving, unsettling, and filled with characters who will haunt you long after the story ends.”Kirkus Reviews

“Clement’s latest is made memorable by the resilient Pearl, whose worldview is shaped both by the harsh, gun-saturated realities of the trailer park and by her mother’s past with its piano lessons and fine china. This unusual and impressive novel is carried by her tough, lyrical voice.”Library Journal

“It’s been a long time since I’ve been so mesmerized with a novel’s each next sentence. Jennifer Clement is one of our most inventive novelists. There’s no telling what she’ll see. Whatever it is, it’s something right in front of us, but—here is the magic trick—something we have never before seen. Gun Love is an amazement: fierce, inventive, tender.”—Rick Bass


Jennifer Clement on telling difficult stories for Signature

Listen to Jennifer’s Gun Love playlist and read her corresponding “Book Notes” at LargeHearted Boy