LOVE ME BACK, a dark and intense debut novel which I’m very lucky to have edited, is on not one, but two “Best Books of 2014” lists. The Chicago Tribune puts LOVE ME BACK on its list of only 10 best books of the year, calling it a “heart-cracking debut.” And author and book critic Roxane Gay lists LOVE ME BACK at #2 on her list of 10 best books in Salon.com, saying that it was the strongest debut of the year! Thank you to the Chicago Trib and to Roxane Gay!
It’s a very happy Sunday indeed, when you open the New York Times Book Review and see a book you edited touted as “one of those exquisitely rare novels that feel desperate and urgent and absolutely necessary.” And this comes on the heels of other stellar reviews calling LOVE ME BACK “extraordinary” (LA Review of Books), “brilliant” (The Chicago Tribune), “visceral” (The New Yorker), “unforgettable…gripping” (Entertainment Weekly), “exceptional” (The Huffington Post), “compulsively readable yet highly literary” (Oxford American), and “one of the most brutally honest books of the year” (Boston Herald). This is extremely well-deserved praise for Merritt Tierce, a remarkable new author, who also happens to be a dream to work with. I’m very proud to have edited this debut novel.
Since editing leading Italian Renaissance historian Alex Lee’s wonderful book about the sex, greed and depravity behind the major art of the Renaissance, I haven’t been able to look at a work by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci or Botticelli in quite the same way. But as Lee explains in this utterly fresh exploration of Italy’s past, it’s fascinating to think that some of the greatest artwork of all time would never have been created were it not for a profusion of sinful actions on the part of artists, patrons, politicians and clergy during this supposed Age of Beauty.
It’s a pleasure to see Helen Giltrow’s dark and sophisticated debut thriller, THE DISTANCE, starting to get the accolades it deserves. The first time I read this book on submission at Doubleday, I was blown away by the original plotting, dramatic sense of place, and subtle romance, all captured by Giltrow in starkly modern prose. It was an even greater pleasure to work with Giltrow on a careful revision of her original draft, and then to watch it all come together in its final form. A truly exciting and satisfying debut for fans of dark and moody literary suspense.
I consider discovering, acquiring and editing Merritt Tierce’s debut novel LOVE ME BACK one of my greatest accomplishments as a book editor. Last fall, the book was a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35″ honoree — the only book honored that was still in the early galley stage. It’s now extremely gratifying to see LOVE ME BACK keeping such amazing company on the Huffington Post’s, Salon.com’s and Vulture.com’s “Best Books of Fall 2014″ lists. The book goes on-sale on September 16th. Pre-order your copy now…