Every utterance seems imbued with thought that is deep and beautiful in its clarity’ ~ The Independent
It has been impossible to ignore the tide of praise that has washed onto our shores accompanying Garth Greenwell’s stunning debut novel, What Belongs to You. An intense and lyrical narrative, which fully deserves every accolade it has so far garnered, Greenwell relates the tale of a young American struggling with his inheritance in a foreign culture.
‘I slept as I have seldom slept, deeply and almost without disturbance, held like his beloved or his child; or held, I suppose it must be said, like his captive or his prey.’
On an unseasonably warm autumn day, an American teacher walks down a staircase beneath Sofia’s National Palace of Culture, looking for sex. Among the stalls of a public bathroom he encounters Mitko, a charismatic young hustler. He returns to Mitko again and again over the next few months, and their trysts grow increasingly intimate and unnerving as the enigma of this young man becomes inseparable from that of his homeland, Bulgaria, a country with a difficult past and an uncertain future.
Garth Greenwell won the 2010 Miami University Press Novella Prize for his work Mitko, and was also a finalist for the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction and a Lambda Literary Award. He is a graduate from the University of Iowa’s Writer’s Workshop, where he was an Arts Fellow, and studied for a PhD at Harvard.
‘A searching and compassionate meditation on the slipperiness of desire, the impossibility of salvation, and the forces of shame, guilt, and yearning that often accompany love, rendered in language as beautiful and vivid as poetry.’ ~ Hanya Yanagihara