First Bad Man
This is The Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller. A Guardian literary highlight for 2015. A Huffington Post 'One to Watch' in 2015. "Astounding." (Lena Dunham, creator of Girls and author of Not That Kind of Girl). "The First Bad Man brings together all of July's talents - it's a book that must be read, a book that must be purchased - in duplicate - one for you, one for a friend. Don't think you can loan this book - you'll never get it back." (A M Homes, author of This Book Will Save Your Life and May We Be Forgiven). The first novel by the filmmaker, artist and bestselling author Miranda July confirms her as a spectacularly original, iconic, and important voice today, and a writer for all time. The First Bad Man is dazzling and unforgettable.
A stunning, must-have summer read from the bestselling and award-winning Miranda July
Shortlisted for James Tait Black Memorial Prize (Fiction) 2016.
* The novel exploded my expectations and became unlike anything I've ever read ... hilarious ... A wry, smart companion on any day. It's warm, it has a heartbeat and a pulse. This is a book that is painfully alive The New York Times Book Review * Astounding ... she will make you laugh, cringe and recognise yourself in a woman you never planned to be ... Never has a novel spoken so deeply to my sexuality, my spirituality, my secret self. I know I am not alone -- LENA DUNHAM * I am in awe of Miranda July ... The First Bad Man brings together all of July's talents - it's a book that must be read, a book that must be purchased - in duplicate - one for you, one for a friend. Don't think you can loan this book - you'll never get it back -- A. M. HOMES author of THIS BOOK WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE and MAY WE BE FORGIVEN * Miranda July's heroine in this unforgettable novel is one of the most original, most confounding and strangely sympathetic characters ... This novel is almost impossible to put down, and confirms July as a novelist of the first order -- DAVE EGGERS * July's storytelling skills crackle to life New York Times * 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 * The first novel by the filmmaker and artist Miranda July is like one of those strange mythological creatures that are part one thing, part another - a griffin or a chimera, perhaps, or a sphinx ... An immensely moving portrait of motherhood and what it means to take care of a child ... July writes of Cheryl's discovery of maternal love with heartfelt emotion and power -- Michiko Kakutani New York Times * A book that I love. It is heartbreakingly sad, and thoughtful, and disgusting and hilarious -- Eva Wiseman Observer * Weird, hilarious and heartbreaking Glamour * The First Bad Man is not like other books ... It's weird. In the most brilliant way. That type of weird that fills you with the urge to tell the whole world about it and to find fellow readers to discuss it with relentlessly Stylist * Astonishing ... in one novel, July tells us more about our universal need to be loved, and our ability to love and be loved, than most earthbound authors will in a lifetime Vanity Fair * The "yes, that's really the way it is!" moments in this book came so fast and furious that I found myself page-turningly 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, and you will inhabit it right along with her. You will also inhabit her. And she, you. 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 * Deeply original -- SARAH CHURCHWELL * Lovely writing is interspersed with outer-space levels of strange ... yet gradually this catalogue of the grotesque builds into something beautiful, and this deeply odd book abruptly becomes transcendent. It feels like being on a plane when it takes off - all that rattling, speed, and oil, and then suddenly: airborne Elle * A pitch-perfect debut ... delightful ... July, a director, screenwriter and artist, has managed to craft not only a beguilingly odd and unpretentious narrator, but also tell a wise and surprising love story ...July's writing playfully mixes extraordinary ingredients with ordinary concerns and the effect is often amusing and insightful ... with luck there will be more where this came from The Economist * Confidently out-there - and yet emotionally convincing ... Being pacily readable, The First Bad Man does not feel like a large book - but July's writing actually covers a lot of ground. Relationships rapidly morph, and yet remain believable. The writing is tightly controlled, as it unabashedly peels back the layers ... to serve up the beating heart within. The First Bad Man becomes a warm book - not a sentimental, tied-up-with-a-bow one, but a humane one. July has a rare ability to pin down people's faults, frailties, and eccentric compulsions rather than squirm from them - and then make us love them anyway Independent on Sunday * A glimpse into the soul of a dazzlingly rounded storyteller Grazia * Brilliant ... Within the context of the wider world - in which all speech is policed, but especially women's stories about their uniquely feminine personal experiences - The First Bad Man feels visionary ... Few have Miranda July's ... particular talent for couching what feel like naked, universal truths in clouds of the imagined and the impossible Slate * Immensely moving Scotsman * July suffuses her narrative with compassion ... The First Bad Man is a terrific novel ... an off-kilter, extremely smart meditation on sex, love, loneliness, and the demands of work and womanhood ... engrossing, surprising, and emotionally true Boston Globe * A downright delight ... July has arranged all her characters on the stage, and we can guess their trajectories ... Cheryl is transformed by love, yes, but not in the way almost every other novel, film, and memoir about a single, early-middle-aged woman tells us she must be in order to function as a viable heroine. There is a sneaky feminist agenda at work here, all the more effective because it's smuggled into a weird, hilarious, compulsively readable anti-romantic comedy. Like Clee, the book is a timebomb in a velour tracksuit Daily Beast * Miranda July's exciting and wild novel The First Bad Man begins deeply, absurdly funny, gets increasingly twisted and strange, and then ends quietly, urgently heartfelt. It is a novel about aging, about motherhood, about sex, about weird wounded women - yes - but it is really a novel about the desperate possibility in all of us to love and be loved. The First Bad Man is like no other novel you will read this year (or any other year) -- DANA SPIOTTA * With The First Bad Man, Miranda July provides an audaciously original, often hilarious map of the ever-expanding reach of unhinged imagination in America. With IMAX-scale emotional projections and a post-gay regimen of sexual fantasies, July takes us on a picaresque journey in which the heroine's ultimate challenge turns out to be a stunningly ordinary circumstance more transfixing than all the virtual caprices a twenty-first-century mind can muster -- ANDREW SOLOMON * Promises to be weird and wonderful Big Issue * Brings to the surface a lot of the weird lurking in every modern soul, with humour and endearing oddness Skinny * An offbeat tragicomedy The Times * Unforgettable Psychologies * An audaciously off-kilter affair ... July tackles self-defence, sexual fantasy and the longing for motherhood in style Sunday Express Miranda July's debut novel is as eccentric and subversive as her already impressive canon of work ... July's ability to present such a desperate protagonist in a relatable way is perhaps more unsettling than the unabashed perversion of her characters. But for all the discomfort there are equal measures of hilarity in this frank book that you'll want to both share with everyone and keep all to yourself Big Issue * Miranda is truly a renaissance woman Grazia * An elegant portrait of loneliness - that it's not simply a function of solitude, but a state of unexpressed love ... genuinely affecting ... July's novel is the invisible made plain: it tells us how it feels to be in the world as another person, moment to moment Financial Times * July crafts a novel of unswerving, discomforting brilliance -- Sam Byers Times Literary Supplement * Perceptive and funny New Statesman * A beautiful and often strange novel, filled with elements that July considered "boundary pushing". As is often the case with her work, it examines the coping methods of the quietly desperate, and the faltering ways in which human beings seek connection. It is dark but funny. At its centre is the character of Cheryl Glickman, an eccentric woman in her 40s who is alone and yearning for life and love to begin ... In the book, Cheryl devises many small rituals to manage her solitary life ... July is a writer concerned with people's most private preoccupations, their secret selves, so it is no wonder that, to her, this novel feels like the personal laid bare Irish Times * A charming little fable about the sheer weirdness of the human heart Mail on Sunday * Smart, wry, heartbreaking and pacey Mr Porter * Wild and blackly comic GQ * The story centres on misfit loner Cheryl Glickman, who agrees to take in her boss's very disturbed 20-year-old daughter. Cheryl also has a crush on an older man, believing him to have been her partner in several former lives together. The question seems to be: is Cheryl really weird? Or is she merely a reflection of us all in today's atomised society Daily Mail * July is a beautiful writer with a particular gift for dialogue and her ideas are original and thought-provoking. It's the kind of novel you desperately want to talk about Evening Standard * You're likely to find a small but profound truth on every page of The First Bad Man, but it's a tale with a healthy dash of surrealism, too ... July is an accomplished master of painting highly intimate, unique tales with the right amount of light and shade Irish Independent * Touching ... she has a lovely, relaxed satirical sense Literary Review * An engrossing read Irish Times
Miranda July is a filmmaker, artist and writer. Her collection of short 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 includes 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. www.mirandajuly.com www.thefirstbadman.com Join the discussion on Twitter #thefirstbadman Follow @Miranda_July on Twitter