Pub Date: Summer 2009
Author: Elizabeth Dembrowsky
In My Monk, author Elizabeth Dembrowsky weaves a story of sadness, humor, and pathos. A young, idealistic American arrives in England for graduate school and finds herself involved in an unlikely friendship with a young, temperamental Romanian poet who is nurturing religious aspirations. Harriet—a liberal atheist—draws closer and closer to her fellow graduate student, attracted to him because of their differences. Alternately invoking back story and taking Harriet forward in time to her life in New York City, the novel is unique in format and style: it includes nearly 90 footnotes of anecdotes, hundreds of parenthetical phrases that express digression and free association, and a dozen original poems. My Monk is a delightful story of love and growth. It reminds us to be open to the wild ride that love can take us on, but also to remember that we don’t control where it will leave us.
“Deft and delightful storymaking at its very best. The language and structures are beautifully playful. At the same time, Dembrowsky’s journey through the worlds and underworlds of creativity is as serious and as honest as it gets.”
—David Morely, Director of the Warwick Writing Programme
“I’m not going to lie…I got so annoyed with Harriet’s tangents at first, but was wholly endeared after a few chapters.”
—Anne Eichinger, proofreader