Stuart Nadler

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Advance Praise for Wise Men:


“…a sweeping epic of race and family in America…Nadler’s portrait of doomed romance, along with dissections of wealth and success worthy of John Cheever, make this a very exciting debut.” – Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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“Persuasive…Impressive…Nadler is a born storyteller.” – Kirkus

“Wise Men reads like a classic; it is a completely engrossing novel, one that scars the reader’s heart in the most satisfying way. In confident, unpretentious prose, Nadler tackles the complexity of racial tension and fifties mores in a manner reminiscent of Harper Lee and Carson McCullers, and in a smart, misses-nothing style that summons comparisons to Salinger and Cheever. Hilton Wise is a winsome and compelling narrator, one you’ll find yourself rooting for days after finishing the book. Nadler’s deft rendering of place, namely a secluded compound in coastal Massachusetts, allows the reader to become completely lost in Hilly’s world. Wise Men is, at its core, a brutal love story, full of surprise and conviction, insight and deception, staggering wealth and loss, truth and beauty.” (Megan Mayhew Bergman, author of BIRDS OF A LESSER PARADISE )

Wise Men is a brilliantly plotted and carefully observed novel that takes the reader deep inside a powerful family’s most guarded secrets. An epic saga about a son’s need to atone for the sins of his father and the sins of his own troubled youth. The driving heart of this ambitious novel is an impossible romance: one worth risking an entire outrageous fortune. With wisdom and compassion, Nadler examines the mysteries and manners of unrequited love. Wise Men confirms that Stuart Nadler is a writer of abundant talent and grace.” (Amber Dermont, author of the New York Times bestseller The Starboard Sea )

“Stuart Nadler is an elegant writer and a compelling storyteller. Wise Men explores the big questions in life—love and money and race and identity—in a story packed with secrets, longings, and obsessions. It is not a book to be missed.” (Vanessa Diffenbaugh, author of the New York Times bestseller The Language of Flowers )

“I have no doubt that Stuart Nadler is going to be one of our great novelists, and it all starts here, on a dune in Cape Cod, with the Wise men. These characters–knotted together with obligation, guilt, and love–will stay with me always.” (Emma Straub, author of OTHER PEOPLE WE MARRIED and LAURA LAMONT’S LIFE IN PICTURES )

“While Stuart Nadler’s ambitious debut novel touches on money, class, race and religion, first and foremost Wise Men is about youth, betrayal and regret. In his idealism and denial, Hilly Wise, the poor little rich boy, is a truly American character, and the perfect narrator for the tale.” (Stewart O’Nan, author of Emily, Alone and The Odds )

Reviews for the Book of Life:

“Stuart Nadler is a great writer.” – Time Out London

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“Rueful melancholy and caustic humour permeate these impressive stories, set on America’s chilly east coast…The tone is set by the brilliant, bombastic opener…” Catherine Taylor, The Guardian

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“…perfectly crafted…Like all great short story writers, Nadler can make his characters whole with the minimal amount of gesturing.” – George Pendle, The Financial Times

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“Nadler’s work celebrates the complexity hidden in ordinary-seeming lives and makes you eager to read whatever he writes next.” – Taylor Antrim, The Daily Beast

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“Stuart Nadler’s “The Book of Life” is that rare thing: a collection of short stories that are not technically “linked” but together define a whole world as deliciously as any novel. …[T]hese tales…are funny and tragic and old-fashioned and brand-spanking-new, all at once.” – Sara Nelson, O Magazine

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“Poignant, insightful, and beautifully written…” – Publishers Weekly

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“Simple premises expand explosively and beautifully, both outward and inward, until each story, without being overlong, seems to contain the full record of the damage that life has wrought on the characters within…Nadler’s work is at the same time nourishing and accessible, and he is a major talent to watch.” – Nicholas Mancusi, The Daily Beast

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“Betrayal and forgiveness infuse this impressive debut collection…Nadler skillfully creates characters whose failures and faults make them comically, endearingly human.” – The New Yorker

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“Stuart Nadler is striding confidently in the footsteps of some big old American legends like Philip Roth and Cheever and Updike” – Dazed and Confused Magazine

“…[I]n “The Book of Life,” the author seems able to capture nearly every life event and emotion in a single bundle of pages.” – The Baltimore Jewish Times

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“I found these stories utterly absorbing; so perceptive, so crackling with wit, so sad. His characters ask too much of one another, take the long way around to asking the difficult questions of themselves, and that’s why they strike home so truly for the reader. It felt like a rich, almost transgressive delight to spend time in the worlds of these stories – even when they were permeated with the tension and unease which Nadler can evoke so skillfully.”  – Belinda McKeon, author of Solace, Irish Book of the Year 2011

Nadler’s writing flows so effortlessly that you almost miss the immense density and complexity of his debut book, The Book of Life. He writes with the pen of a master, but with the genuine passion of a novice. I’m tempted to go through each of the seven stories, dissect them, find their power, and steal it for myself. – Joe Winkler, Vol. 1 Brooklyn

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“A descendant of Cheever, Stuart Nadler traces evolving relationships with delicate, precise prose in his debut short story collection, The Book of Life.”Jim Santel, The Rumpus

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“A dazzling debut short story collection replete with characters wrestling with guilt and regret but fighting for lives with humor, spirit and the odd transgression.” – John McFarland, Shelf Awareness

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In his debut collection of short stories, Stuart Nadler steps boldly onto the scene. I mean, just look at the title folks. Seven stories plunge into the complex, often strained, stretched and twisted bonds between parents, children, lovers and cheaters. This collection is as exciting a debut to hit our shelves as any in a long time.” – Paul Theirault, Brookline Booksmith

“Nadler seems to know his characters inside-out and spins out their foibles and frailties in a leisurely fashion… a writer’s writer, a fine observer of the nuances and idiosyncrasies of character.” – Kirkus

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[a] moving debut story collection… a searing heartbreaker… – Sara Ivry, The Tablet

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“With this collection, Nadler firmly establishes himself within the tradition of short story writers such as John Cheever and Richard Ford, and announces himself as a promising voice in contemporary fiction.” – Phil Sandick, Jewish Book World

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“Work scuffles, messy affairs, the passage of loved ones, impending baldness—Nadler’s guy heroes seem to have no end of problems in this really smart and powerful collection of stories. – Daniel Goldin, Boswell Books, Milwaukee, WI

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The Story Prize

Largehearted Boy

The Rumpus

Newtonville Books

On the Lit Mat 

Jewish Book World


Jewish Book Council Book Club

Advance praise for The Book of Life

“Stuart Nadler will end up being compared to people you’ve heard of. Bellow, I’m guessing; Nathan Englander, probably Malamud, I.B. Singer. Heavy-hitters. This is both apt and not. Nadler’s great, and those guys are all great — so it makes sense. Sort of. But Nadler (like each of the others) is great in his own way. He addresses tradition, but he captures the right-now as well as anyone I know of. He’s heart-breaking, yet he’s funny. He writes beautifully, but his prose is lean — fat-free, even. He’s really worth reading, so please do.”  – Darin Strauss, author of Chang and Eng, and Half a Life

“Stuart Nadler has written seven of the most gorgeous, poignant, intricately crafted, and compulsively readable stories I have read in a long time.  His flawed protagonists tend to be forever on the brink of heartbreak, yet the unlikely effect of Nadler’s fiction is that life is continually reaffirmed.” – Frederick Reiken, author of Day for Night, and The Lost Legends of New Jersey

“Stuart Nadler is an artist of secrets. Line after line of clear, revealing prose turn out to be incendiary. These are stories that expand without warning. A striking, rousing collection of people waking up fast. Nothing in The Book of Life is without consequence.” – Rosecrans Baldwin, author of You Lost Me There

“A writer of keen perception and sensibility, Nadler describes the difficult thresholds that separate absence and presence, arrivals and departures, the sacred and profane, bright memory and dark nostalgia.  His writing reminds me why I love to read.” – Gina Oschner, author of The Russian Dreambook of Colour and Flight

“Stuart Nadler treats his characters like people.  The Book of Life is a fitting title for this collection—that’s what it’s about: life.  Here’s a Chekovian fascination with the human condition—the pleasures and tortures of family, love, sex, money, work, religion.  These are stories about fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, wives, husbands, friends, lovers—people with complex lives, troubled souls, deep hearts and messy desires.  Nadler is a writer, who, like Alice Munro, John Cheever or Bernard Malamud, does not write about “ordinary people” because he knows there’s no such thing as an ordinary person.  Each of these carefully wrought stories is as moving and masterful as a Chopin sonata; the notes and the silences between them will resonate with the reader for a very long time after they’re done.” – Benjamin Hale, author of The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore

In The Book of Life, Stuart Nadler offers a fresh, funny, perceptive take on the current state of the Jewish family, including the families we make with our friends and lovers. Like Bernard Malamud, Nadler has a gift for comic, ironic dialogue and for setting thoroughly modern characters on a collision course with the distant past. A truly talented collection. – Sharon Pomerantz, author of Rich Boy