Skip to product information
1 of 1

The Lavender Rhino



Regular price $16.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $16.00 USD
Sale Sold out

Author: Garth Greenwell

ISBN (Paperback): 9781250785664

ISBN (Hardcover): 9780374124588

Tags: Gay, Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction

Longlisted for the Prix Sade 2021
Longlisted for the Joyce Carol Oates Prize
Longlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize

A New York Times Notable Book of 2020
A New York Times Critics Top Ten Book of the Year
Named a Best Book of the Year by over 30 Publications, including The New Yorker, TIME, The Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, NPR, and the BBC

In the highly anticipated follow-up to his beloved debut, What Belongs to You, Garth Greenwell deepens his exploration of foreignness, obligation, and desire.

Sofia, Bulgaria, a landlocked city in southern Europe, stirs with hope and impending upheaval. Soviet buildings crumble, wind scatters sand from the far south, and political protesters flood the streets with song.

In this atmosphere of disquiet, an American teacher navigates a life transformed by the discovery and loss of love. As he prepares to leave the place he’s come to call home, he grapples with the intimate encounters that have marked his years abroad, each bearing uncanny reminders of his past. A queer student’s confession recalls his own first love, a stranger’s seduction devolves into paternal sadism, and a romance with another foreigner opens, and heals, old wounds. Each echo reveals startling insights about what it means to seek connection: with those we love, with the places we inhabit, and with our own fugitive selves.

Cleanness revisits and expands the world of Garth Greenwell’s beloved debut, What Belongs to You, declared “an instant classic” by The New York Times Book Review. In exacting, elegant prose, he transcribes the strange dialects of desire, cementing his stature as one of our most vital living writers.

“Incandescent ... [Greenwell's] writing about sex is altogether scorching. You pick his novels up with asbestos mitts, and set them down upon trivets to protect your table from heat damage ...Greenwell has an uncanny gift, one that comes along rarely.”
—Dwight Garner, The New York Times Book Review

“Extraordinary ... The overall effect is even more impressive than [What Belongs to You] ... The range in these stories is part of their triumph and part of what makes their existential sorrow so profound ... Incomparably bittersweet ... Brilliant.”
—Ron Charles, The Washington Post

"The casual grandeur of Garth Greenwell’s prose, unfurling in page-long paragraphs and elegantly garrulous sentences, tempts the vulnerable reader into danger zones . . . These stories are masterpieces of radical eroticism, but they wouldn’t have the same impact if they didn’t appear in a gorgeously varied narrative fabric, amid scenes of more wholesome love, finely sketched vistas of political unrest, haunting evocations of a damaged childhood, and moments of mundane rapture. Tenderness, violence, animosity, and compassion are the outer edges of what feels like a total map of the human condition."
—Alex Ross, The New Yorker (Best Books of 2020)

"Greenwell is a relentless truth-teller with a poet’s eye for detail and a shimmering prose style that’s reason enough to read the book."
—Jim Zarroli, NPR Books (Best Books of 2020)

"Greenwell is among our finest writers on sex and desire."
—Adrienne Westenfeld, Esquire (Best Books of 2020 So Far)

"An aching examination of intimacy and power."
—Annabel Gutterman, TIME (Best Books of 2020 So Far)

View full details