The All-Night Sun

Diane Zinna. Random House, $27 (336p) ISBN 978-1-9848-5416-2
Zinna’s intimate debut dazzles with original language, emotional sentience, and Swedish folklore as it plumbs the depths of grief, loss, and friendship. Lauren Cress, a 28-year-old woman teaching English comp at a small college outside of Washington, D.C., takes a leap out of her lonely, sedentary routine by agreeing to travel with Siri, an 18-year-old art student, to her home in Sweden. Until now, her life has been comprised of walking her dog, Annie; studying Latin to pass her insomniac nights; occasional one-night stands; and devoting much of her time to obsessively commenting on her students’ essays. These habits were formed as coping mechanisms after her parents died in a car crash 10 years earlier. Siri also lost her parents, and the women are intensely bonded by grief. Tension ensues after Lauren meets Siri’s older artist brother, Magnus, whom she was primed to dislike before the trip but can’t stop thinking about. This leads to a rift in Lauren and Siri’s friendship and a heartbreaking climax during the Midsommar celebration. The descriptions of the never-ending sunlight are inventive and luminous (“when I think of our talks there, they can sometimes feel like sun in my eyes”). Zinna reaches an inspired emotional depth that, as the title signifies, never stops blazing. Agent: Katherine Fausset, Curtis Brown, Ltd. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 05/26/2020
Release date: 07/14/2020
Genre: Fiction
Book - 978-1-9848-5417-9
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