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The Wanting Life

The Wanting Life

by Mark Rader


Available for Pre-Order. This item will be available on February 25, 2020


Set in Rome, Cape Cod, and Wisconsin over the course of the summer of 2009, and Rome during the spring of 1970, The Wanting Life tells the intertwined story of three members of the Novak family: Father Paul, a closeted gay Catholic priest who’s dying of cancer and has secrets he desperately wants to share; Britta, his self-destructive sister and caretaker, who’s struggling to find meaning in a world without her beloved husband; and Maura, Britta’s daughter—a thirty-nine-year-old artist who’s facing a choice between her husband and two children, or the man she believes is her one, true love.

Featuring one of most unconventional love stories you’ll read this year, The Wanting Life is both a compulsively readable family drama about the toll that secrets and loyalty can take on us, and a gorgeous meditation on the comforts (and limits) of faith and intimacy that calls to mind novels like Marilynne Robinson’s Home, Alice McDermott’s Charming Billy, and Julian Barnes’ The Sense of an Ending.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781944700997
Publisher: The Unnamed Press
Publication date: 02/25/2020
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

About the Author

Mark Rader has had stories published in Glimmer Train, Epoch, The Southern Review and shortlisted for an O. Henry Award, the Best American Non-Required Reading anthology, and a Pushcart Prize. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from Cornell University and lives in Chicago with his wife and two sons.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Who deserves to love and be loved? Mark Rader's moving, immersive novel The Wanting Life is a master class in the human heart, with achingly real characters whose stories reveal the mystery and power of great love, even (especially) when that love is just out of reach. Beautiful, suspenseful, and ultimately hopeful." —Siobhan Adcock, author of The Barter and The Completionist

"Mark Rader's devastating debut novel The Wanting Life is as much about the losses that arrive with aging as it is about the power and necessity of memory. Every life is a love story, this book reminds us, and at every stage there's a chance for a different future. I loved it." —Hannah Pittard, author of The Fates Will Find Their Way and Visible Empire