Harvard Book Store’s virtual event series welcomes playwright, professor, and novelist JULIA MAY JONAS for a discussion of her debut novel, Vladimir. She will be joined in conversation by JOANNA RAKOFF, bestselling author of My Salinger Year and A Fortunate Age: A Novel.
“When I was a child, I loved old men, and I could tell that they also loved me.”
And so we are introduced to our deliciously incisive narrator: a popular English professor whose charismatic husband at the same small liberal arts college is under investigation for his inappropriate relationships with his former students. The couple have long had a mutual understanding when it comes to their extra-marital pursuits, but with these new allegations, life has become far less comfortable for them both. And when our narrator becomes increasingly infatuated with Vladimir, a celebrated, married young novelist who’s just arrived on campus, their tinder box world comes dangerously close to exploding.
With this bold, edgy, and uncommonly assured debut, author Julia May Jonas takes us into charged territory, where the boundaries of morality bump up against the impulses of the human heart. Propulsive, darkly funny, and wildly entertaining, Vladimir perfectly captures the personal and political minefield of our current moment, exposing the nuances and the grey area between power and desire.
Praise for Vladimir
“Funny, wise and instantly engaging, Vladimir is how I like my thrill rides: brainy and sexy.” —Maria Semple, author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette
“Vladimir is a thrilling debut—smart, sharp, and über provocative. I devoured it with fascination and awe.” —Lily King, author of Writers and Lovers
“A reminder that the best art involves a search for truth. Vladimir is funny, clear, awake, vivid.” —Amitava Kumar, author of Immigrant, Montana