Rebecca Dinerstein’s debut novel The Sunlit Night explores the intersection of two young lives: Frances, who flees her claustrophobic childhood apartment in Manhattan and seeks refuge at an obscure Norwegian artist colony; and Yasha, an eighteen-year-old Russian immigrant raised in a bakery in Brighton Beach, who heads north to carry out his beloved father’s last wish to be buried “at the top of the world.” The two meet in Lofoten, an archipelago in the Norwegian Sea. Their unlikely connection fortifies them against the turmoil of their distant homes and teaches them that however far they travel for independence, it is ultimately love that gives them their place in the world.
REBECCA DINERSTEIN is the winner of the 2015 Wallant Award. She is the author of Lofoten, a bilingual English-Norwegian collection of poems, and The Sunlit Night, her debut novel. She received her B.A. from Yale and her M.F.A. in Fiction from New York University, where she was a Rona Jaffe Graduate Fellow. She lives in Brooklyn. Follow her on Twitter @beckydinerstein.
Praise for Rebecca:
A “captivating debut novel…[Dinerstein’s] prose is lyrical and silky, but it’s also specific, with acute observations and precise detail, and she evokes the sun-stroked, barren Norwegian landscape with a striking sense of place. Her descriptions of Yasha’s grief and of the tentative love affair between Frances and Yasha are palpable with loss and yearning. With provocative insights about the cruelty of abandonment, the concept of home, and the limits of parental and filial love, Dinerstein’s novel is a rich reading experience.” — Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review
“Lyrical as a poem, psychologically rich as a thriller, funny, dark, warm, and as knowing of place as any travel book or memoir, The Sunlit Night marks the appearance of a brave talent.” —Jonathan Safran Foer
“By turns ravishing and hilarious, The Sunlit Night is more than a shining debut—it’s the work of a young master. Dinerstein writes of her two lovers with sensitivity and chutzpah: human drama, a nightless summer, the transformative power of nature. Here’s an exciting new voice that sings perfectly in key.” —Darin Strauss
“Dinerstein brings readers to an otherworldly setting in this luminous story about love, family, and the bewilderment of being young. Enchanting in every way.” —Maggie Shipstead, author of Astonish Me
“A poignant exploration of what it means to be alone in love, by a stunningly talented young writer.” —Vanessa Diffenbaugh, author of The Language of Flowers
“Exhilarating…The Sunlit Night gets our appetites up—for more life lived, for love and community, for knowing ourselves, for relief and letting go. It’s a book you’ll be thankful for reading.” —Jenny Slate
Rights: Bloomsbury/Bloomsbury UK, World English; Aschehoug, Norway; China Times, Complex Chinese; Bekad, Turkey; Actes Sud, France