What Belongs to You by Garth Greenwell is one of five finalists for the 2017 PEN/Faulkner Award, announced just this morning in Washington.
What Belongs to You has been named one of the best books of the year by more than fifty publications, including The New Yorker, The New York Times (selected by Dwight Garner), The Washington Post, and Publishers Weekly (one of the ten best books of the year).
Other accolades include:
- Longlisted for the National Book Award in Fiction
- Shortlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize
- New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice
- Los Angeles Times Bestseller
"Garth Greenwell's What Belongs to You appeared in early 2016, and is a short first novel by a young writer; still, it was not easily surpassed by anything that appeared later in the year....It is not just first novelists who will be envious of Greenwell's achievement."―James Wood, The New Yorker
On an unseasonably warm autumn day, an American teacher enters a public bathroom beneath Sofia’s National Palace of Culture. There he meets Mitko, a charismatic young hustler, and pays him for sex. He returns to Mitko again and again over the next few months, drawn by hunger and loneliness and risk, and finds himself ensnared in a relationship in which lust leads to mutual predation, and tenderness can transform into violence. As he struggles to reconcile his longing with the anguish it creates, he’s forced to grapple with his own fraught history, the world of his southern childhood where to be queer was to be a pariah. There are unnerving similarities between his past and the foreign country he finds himself in, a country whose geography and griefs he discovers as he learns more of Mitko’s own narrative, his private history of illness, exploitation, and want.
What Belongs to You is a stunning debut novel of desire and its consequences. With lyric intensity and startling eroticism, Garth Greenwell has created an indelible story about the ways in which our pasts and cultures, our scars and shames can shape who we are and determine how we love.
The audiobook is narrated by Piter Marek. Hear an excerpt!