Vladimir

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What to expect

‘This astonishing debut . . . I was utterly hooked . . . [by] this twisty, sexy, shocking treat of a novel . . . How on earth will Julia May Jonas better this?’ Sunday Times

A provocative, razor-sharp, and timely debut novel about a beloved English professor facing a slew of accusations against her professor husband by former students – a situation that becomes more complicated when she herself develops an obsession of her own . . .

When I was a child, I loved old men, and I could tell that they also loved me.

And so we meet our deliciously incisive narrator: a popular English professor whose husband, a charismatic professor at the same small liberal arts college, is under investigation for his inappropriate relationships with his former students. The couple have long had a mutual understanding when it comes to their extramarital pursuits, but with these new allegations, life has become far less comfortable for them both. And when our narrator becomes increasingly infatuated with Vladimir, a celebrated, married young novelist who’s just arrived on campus, their tinder-box world comes dangerously close to exploding.

With her bold, edgy, and uncommonly assured literary debut, Julia May Jonas takes us into charged territory, where the strictures of morality bump up against the impulses of the human heart. Propulsive, darkly funny, and surreptitiously moving, Vladimir maps the personal and political minefield of our current moment, exposing the messy contradictions of power and desire.

Critics Review

  • One of 2022’s most anticipated books

    Stylist
  • Vladimir is provocative, creepy, brilliantly written, and very funny. I loved it.

    Roddy Doyle
  • Vladimir contains far too many uncomfortable truths to be merely fun, but . . . it is, by turns, cathartic, devious and terrifically entertaining.’

    New York Times
  • Vladimir goes into such outrageous territory that my jaw literally dropped at moments while I was reading it. There’s a rare blend here of depth of character, mesmerizing prose, and fast-paced action.’

    Boston Globe
  • In darkly funny terms, Jonas creates a portrait of a narcissist reckoning with her age and vanity, but also the limits of her power.

    Time
  • What is more delicious than the despicable narrator? . . . Jonas, with a potent, pumping voice, has drawn a character so powerfully candid that when she does things that are malicious, dangerous and, yes, predatory, we only want her to do them again.’

    Los Angeles Times

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