Pub. Date:
Christmas in Austin

Christmas in Austin

by Benjamin Markovits


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This luminous family saga from one of Granta's Best Young British Novelists is a must for fans of Anne Tyler and Jonathan Franzen.

When the four Essinger children gather in Austin for Christmas, they all bring their news. Nathan is hoping to become a Federal judge. Susie’s husband has taken a job in England. Jean has asked her boyfriend and boss to meet her family. Paul has broken up with Dana, mother of their son Cal. But their parents have plans, too, and invite Dana to stay, hoping to bring the couple back together. As the week unfolds, the Essingers all face conflicts of loyalty and tensions between old families and new.

Rich, intimate, and deeply perceptive, Benjamin Markovits' Christmas in Austin beautifully explores the deep-rooted division between the world we grow up in, and the life we make for ourselves.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780571365968
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Publication date: 12/08/2020
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.80(h) x (d)

About the Author

Benjamin Markovits grew up in Texas, London, and Berlin. One of Granta's Best Young British Novelists and the winner of the James Tait Black Award, he is the author of eight novels. He has published essays, stories, poetry, and reviews on subjects ranging from the Romantics to American sports in The Guardian, Granta, The Paris Review, and The New York Times, among other publications. He lives in London and teaches creative writing at Royal Holloway, University of London.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher


“In tender, compassionate prose and a deftly compressed time-scheme, Markovits glints through desire, ennui, misunderstanding, and love, illuminating his family so they collectively glow like a human panorama.”

―Jonathan Lethem

"There’s not a lot of high drama in the novel; the characters’ cool and sometimes startling insights into their own behavior are pleasure enough.”

—The New York Times Book Review

"Markovits is adept at multilayered dialogue, and [the family’s] interplay sparkles."


"Beneath the surface particularities of their lives, there's a universality to this portrait that will bring at least a rueful nod of recognition to any reader."

—Shelf Awareness

"Markovits offers ... well-crafted scenes that explore the chaos and affection, seams and separateness of large family gatherings—the disjointed conversations are especially fine. ."

—Kirkus Reviews

Customer Reviews