On a spring day in 1970, while Nina and Asher fight in their kitchen, hurling accusations and glassware at each other, their young daughter, Hannah, makes her way to first grade—walking on neighbor’s lawns and dodging garbage cans, absorbed in her own thoughts—when a drunk driver slams into her. For nearly the next 10 years, Hannah endures life with a cast on her leg, feeling insecure and burdened by her broken limb. The dissolution of her parents’ marriage, and the accident that leaves her encumbered with multiple casts that never seem to fix her leg, thrusts Hannah into young adulthood. With grace and maturity, Hannah learns to accept her once-Jewish father’s new faith and wife (the woman who ultimately broke up her family), and her mother’s newfound sexual freedom, nudist lifestyle, and young husband. Martin Kettle, the driver who left Hannah at the scene, continues through life troubled and guilt-ridden about his past. He believes his secret visits to the hospital to visit Hannah and drop off gifts while she sleeps are a form of atonement. Martin makes gradual progress in overcoming his demons and addictions, but will he ever admit full responsibility for what he’s done and move on? Glatt’s (A Girl Becomes a Comma Like That) well-developed characters and their intersecting stories leave the reader wondering what will happen next. (June)
Glatt has a light comic touch and a painfully honest gaze that will keep the reader engaged until the very end.
BiblioFile - Wayne Roylance
Glatt, a poet whose most recent novel was A Girl Becomes a Comma Like That, knows just how to peel away the pretensions of modern life. In the sunlight of her prose, everybody looks pink and vulnerable … This psychological drama slides along an electric wire of suspense …”
The Washington Post - Ron Charles
The characters so finely etched and flawed and real, the scenes indelible as if burned into wood—this portrait of people trying to make it in southern California is one of the finest you’ll see.
Highwire Moon - Susan Straight
Glatt writes with clarity and heart about these four people, but equally compelling is her vivid portrait of Southern California in the 1970s. The Nakeds is as escapist as it is illuminating; as radiantly beautiful as it is painfully, shatteringly real.
Bustle - Caroline Goldstein
Glatt’s background in poetry is evident in the crisp vividness of her language.
Lisa Glatt writes with incandescent ink: her novel emanates light. There is damage and heartache to be found in
The Nakeds, yet every page is radiant with redemption, and every gorgeously human character embodies hope. This book will keep you up late at night, turning page after page, laughing aloud, palms sweating, heart in your mouth.
Rainey Royal and Normal People Don’t Live Like This - Dylan Landis
"The way Glatt blends the ordinary with the hidden rivers of the heart is part of what makes the novel so readable, as does the humor laced throughout even the most troubling scenes... Glatt is also the author of two collections of poetry, and her sense of timing might be attributed to this skill set, which is not colored by lyrical descriptions but by precise and cinematic details that give
The Nakeds its authentic feel. Time either hobbles along or flashes by with unnatural speed, just as it does in real life, and her characters feel like people we know and who, through the mind-reading powers of storytelling, we are now beginning to understand."
Miami Herald - Emma Trelles
Lisa Glatt has a developed quite the knack for tackling dark subject matter with an enthralling wit.
The Toronto Star - Safa Jinje
The Nakeds is a work of simple and lucid brilliance, and Lisa Glatt is a stunningly gifted writer. The world needs to know her. I think it soon will.
The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion - Meghan Daum
The Nakeds is a book you won’t want to put down. With humor, heart, intelligence and compassion, Lisa Glatt has written a powerfully absorbing novel about the most dark and complicated human truths. Her characters are so perceptively drawn I felt as if they were people I knew. Her portrait of southern California in the 1970s is so vivid I could practically feel that particular sun on my face. Her insights into how we love and forgive and deny and accept are so profound I felt changed by the time I read the final sentence. This is an unforgettable and spellbinding book by a writer of rare radiance.
Glatt (A Girl Becomes a Comma Like That) sets her new work in 1970s California, with the sexual revolution, California crazes, and shifting personal identity moving the plot. While Nina and Archer Teller are busy arguing in their kitchen, their six-year-old daughter, Hannah, decides to walk to school alone. She is struck by a car whose drunk driver leaves the scene. During Hannah's long recovery (her leg is in a cast for much of the next decade), her parents divorce, her father remarries and finds Jesus, her mother remarries and joins a nudist colony, and they all reinvent themselves. Martin, the drunk driver, is haunted by guilt but can't bring himself to admit to his crime; instead he loses himself in the tacky pleasures of Las Vegas. The resolution of the story's crisis is left to the reader's imagination. VERDICT Glatt creates characters whose choices change the dynamics of life as they know it, and her work will appeal to readers of general fiction.—Joanna Burkhardt, Univ. of Rhode Island Libs., Providence
The latest novel from the author of A Girl Becomes a Comma Like That (2004). Seven-year-old Hannah Teller is on her way to school when she's hit by a car. Martin Kettle—just out of high school, still drunk from the night before—is the driver who injures Hannah and leaves her by the side of the road. Glatt follows the intertwined lives of these two characters as they deal with the accident's aftermath. As a little girl, Hannah is precocious and shy. While her intellectual curiosity persists, her reticence falls away—bit by bit—as she grows into a teenager. But the series of casts she has to endure as doctor after doctor tries to help her walk again serves as a barrier between Hannah and the kids around her. She sees the world as divided between the normal and the damaged, and she wants desperately to resume her place among the normal. Unfortunately for Hannah, her leg isn't her only obstacle. Even by the standards of Southern California in the 1970s, her family is…different. Her father leaves her mother and Judaism for his mistress, evangelical Christianity, and surfing. Her mother marries a psychology student specializing in sexuality, which leads to weekends at a nudist colony. Hannah has a lot to navigate—on crutches—and she does so with a mordant wit that makes her delightful company. Martin's story is sadder but not without its moments of comedy and gentle beauty. Immediately after the accident, he's paralyzed by guilt—an emotional analog to Hannah's immobility. First, he tries to hide; then he tries to run. Ultimately, neither helps much. Throughout this novel, hope is as much a curse as it is a blessing, and in the end, Glatt doesn't shy away from this ambiguity. What she leaves her characters—and her readers—with is possibility. Funny, wise, and painfully honest.