From the acclaimed filmmaker, artist, and bestselling author of No One Belongs Here More Than You, comes a spectacular debut novel that is so heartbreaking, so dirty, so tender, so funny—so Miranda July—readers will be astonished.
Cheryl Glickman believes in romances that span centuries and a soul that migrates between babies. She works at a women’s self-defense nonprofit and lives alone. When her bosses ask if their twenty-year-old daughter, Clee, can move into her house for a while, Cheryl’s eccentrically ordered world explodes. And yet it is Clee the selfish, cruel blond bombshell who bullies Cheryl into reality and, unexpectedly, leads her to the love of a lifetime.
Tender, gripping, slyly hilarious, infused with raging sexual fantasies and fierce maternal love, Miranda July’s first novel confirms her as a spectacularly original, iconic, and important voice today, and a writer for all time.
“July’s work reminds us that the essential storytelling tool is voice. Hers is smart, funny, twisted, vulnerable, humane, and reassuring: a dazzling human consciousness speaking frankly and fondly and directly to you. If I ever start to doubt the power of language and intelligence, I only have to read a few lines of July to have my faith restored.”
George Saunders, author of Tenth of December
“Miranda July’s ability to pervert norms while embracing what makes us normal is astounding. Writing in the first person with the frank, odd lilt of an utterly truthful character, she will make you laugh, cringe and recognize yourself in a woman you never planned to be. By the time July tackles motherhood, the book has become a bible. Never has a novel spoken so deeply to my sexuality, my spirituality, my secret self. I know I am not alone.”
Lena Dunham, author of Not That Kind of Girl
“Cheryl Glickman, Miranda July’s heroine in this unforgettable novel, is one of the most original, most confounding and strangely sympathetic characters in recent fiction. She narrates this very intimate epic that starts in a place of brittle, quirky, loneliness and progresses into a profoundly moving story of nontraditional love and commitment. This novel is almost impossible to put down, and confirms July as a novelist of the first order.”
Dave Eggers, author of The Circle
“Miranda July’s first novel announces something new, not only in its invention, characterization, and pace, but emotional truth. With it, the esteemed artist and filmmaker joins the front rank of young American novelists—and then surpasses them.”
Hilton Als, author of White Girls
“The ‘yes, that’s really the way it is!’ moments in this book came so fast and furious that I found myself propelled into a story that, despite its subtly off-kilter course, somehow—I don’t know how—ended up revealing the invisible and depthless emotional reality that roils and tugs beneath us all. Miranda July’s protagonist inhabits this uncharted world of unspeakable desires, embarrassing hopes and shifting conquests more fully than any in contemporary fiction I can recall. The First Bad Man is a strange miracle of a book, and despite the opinion of its main character, a truly great American love story for our time.”
Chris Ware, author of Building Stories
Miranda July is a filmmaker, artist, and writer. Her collection of stories, No One Belongs Here More Than You, won the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and has been published in twenty-three countries. Her writing has appeared in The Paris Review, Harper’s, and The New Yorker; It Chooses You was her first book of non-fiction. She wrote, directed and starred in The Future and Me and You and Everyone We Know, winner of the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and a Special Jury Prize at Sundance. July’s participatory art works include the website Learning to Love You More (with artist Harrell Fletcher), Eleven Heavy Things (a sculpture garden created for the 2009 Venice Biennale), New Society (a performance), and Somebody (a messaging app). Raised in Berkeley, California, July lives in Los Angeles.