Very Nice: A novel (Hardcover)
A brilliantly funny novel of money, sex, race, and bad behavior in the post-Obama era, featuring a wealthy Connecticut divorcée, her college-age daughter, and the famous novelist who is seduced by them both.
Rachel Klein never meant to kiss her creative writing professor, but with his long eyelashes, his silky hair, and the sad, beautiful life he laid bare on Twitter, she does, and the kiss is very nice. Zahid Azzam never planned to become a houseguest in his student's sprawling Connecticut home, but with the sparkling swimming pool, the endless supply of Whole Foods strawberries, and Rachel's beautiful mother, he does, and the home is very nice. Becca Klein never thought she'd have a love affair so soon after her divorce, but when her daughter's professor walks into her home, bringing with him an apricot standard poodle named Princess, she does, and the affair is...a very bad idea.
Zigzagging between the rarefied circles of Manhattan investment banking, the achingly self-serious MFA programs of the Midwest, and the private bedrooms of Connecticut, Very Nice is an audacious, addictive, and wickedly smart take on the way we live now.
About the Author
MARCY DERMANSKY is the author of the critically acclaimed novels The Red Car, Bad Marie, and Twins. She has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Edward F. Albee Foundation. She lives with her daughter in Montclair, New Jersey.
"Very Nice features a very spoiled apricot poodle, very yummy breakfasts of avocado toast, and a very naughty mother-daughter-professor love triangle—it's everything you need in your new favorite summer novel, and makes me very relieved I never got my PhD."
— Kevin Kwan, bestselling author of Crazy Rich Asians
"Marcy Dermansky is a light switch, a volume knob, a fire drill. Her novels are bright and attention-grabbing, from the first page to the last, and Very Nice is her best yet. This smart, sexy, funny book is a balm for rattled nerves. Write me a thousand more books, Marcy, and I'll read them all."
—Emma Straub, bestselling author of Modern Lovers and The Vacationers
"Very Nice is so sexy and reads so smooth that I was utterly addicted. Trenchantly observed and darkly funny, it will stick with you long after you finish its final, ferocious sentence."
—Maria Semple, bestselling author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette?
"Fans of situational comedies and rom-coms should pre-order this hilarious novel from Marcy Dermansky… It features a small cast of wickedly funny characters and a plot straight out a Shakespearean romance."
—The Today Show
"A messy, sexy, super fun drama that unravels over the course of one summer… Impossible to put down."
“When Zahid Azzam becomes the houseguest of the mother of one of his creative writing students, all kinds of boundaries are crossed. No one is entirely innocent in this addictive story of money, sex, and bad house manners.”
—Jessica Francis Kane, The Guardian
"Very Nice is deceptively polite, a gracious rebuke to every writer who has sworn it's impossible to write about the times in which we live. Marcy Dermansky found the way in, spotted the connections holding our fragmented world together and made them sing. Her best book to date, which is saying quite a lot."
—Laura Lippman, bestselling author of Sunburn
"Better than very nice, this book is glorious. Fast, funny, and filled with memorably brilliant characters."
—Jane Green, bestselling author of The Friends We Keep
"This darkly funny book vies to answer the age-old question: Just how huge is our collective appetite for tales of male novelists behaving badly? [U]proarious."
"Dermansky's spare prose compels the reader in such an effortless way that the monumental revelations her characters nonchalantly make have an even greater impact. As a study on human nature, this novel can easily hold its own amongst literary works, but will likely also be well-received by general fiction lovers looking for a more substantial, yet still entertaining, book to read."
“[A] sardonic skewering of self-aggrandizing MFA programs, investment banking, and ‘nice’ wealthy suburbs that tend to have seedy secrets bubbling right underneath their shiny veneers.”
“Sly, deceptively simple and thoroughly seductive... Bouncing between points of view, Dermansky confines herself to snappy, brisk paragraphs and short sentences, with much of the psychic action between the lines. Her sharp satire spares none of the characters and teeters brilliantly on the edge of comedy and tragedy.”
—Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"Five narrators play a game of narrative hot potato with a tale of summer sexcapades… A hell of a lot of stylish fun. Can you top this? is the question posed by each chapter of this upmarket soap opera, and the answer is always yes."