A powerful novel of youth, desire, and moral conflict, in which a young man is seduced by the mirage of glamour — at terrible cost.
Arriving in New York City for an internship at an elite but fading magazine, Luca feels invisible: smart but not worldly, privileged but broke, and uncertain how to navigate a new era of social change. Among his peers is Zara, a young Black woman whose sharp wit and frank views on injustice create tension in the office. Luca is equally drawn to an attractive and wealthy white couple—a prominent artist and her filmmaker husband—whose lifestyle he finds alien and alluring. As summer arrives, Luca is swept up in the fever dream of their marriage, joining them at their beach house, and nurturing an infatuation both frustrating and dangerous. Only after he learns of a spectacular tragedy in the city he has left behind does he begin to realize the moral consequences of his allegiances.
In language at once lyrical and incisive, Hermione Hoby (“a writer of extreme intelligence, insight, style and beauty” — Ann Patchett) offers a clear-eyed, unsettling novel of the allure of privilege and the costs of complacency.
“Hermione Hoby has a a high-wire command of language and a sensitivity for conjuring facets of being that I never knew could be described until I read Virtue.” —Rachel Kushner, author of The Mars Room and The Flamethrowers
“Hermione Hoby’s Virtue kept me rapt from the very first page, intoxicated by the richness and surprise of its language, its wit, its keen attention to the layers of friction and attachment lurking beneath the surface of every conversation. Hoby’s gaze is both cutting and generous: razor-sharp about social pieties without ever stooping to caricature. More than anything, Virtue illuminates the messiness of being human and trying to be good.” —Leslie Jamison, author of The Gin Closet and The Empathy Exams
“Hermione Hoby has a way of rebuilding the world with astounding resonance and vividness. In Virtue, with bewitching precision, she captures the ominous beauty and soft underbelly of our protest summers. The result is both a sumptuous portrait of all-consuming attraction and a compassionate indictment of shallow social conscience. I loved this novel, and sank deep into its radiance and rot.” —Jia Tolentino, author of Trick Mirror
“An engaging and beautiful novel. Virtue resists easy moralizing, yet delivers an elbow-sharp, incisive dissection of the seductive nature of the privileges afforded to those on the favored side of inequality.” —Mychal Denzel Smith, author of Stakes Is High
“A work of confident elegance and eerie familiarity for anyone who has ever been young, ambitious and blinded by perception.” —Sloane Crosley, author of The Clasp
“Virtue bears satirical witness to contemporary American liberalism–its pieties, its trinkets of cultural capital, its useless insights–in brutally accurate detail. A brilliant, funny, ultimately horrifying comedy of manners.” —Joseph O’Neill, author of Netherland
“Virtue is the first novel to deal directly with the intimate corrosions and self-betrayals wrought by the Trump years. In pearlescent prose, Hermione Hoby presents the struggles of a creative class caught between beauty and duty, on the eve of its dissolution.” —Marco Roth, author of The Scientists
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NEON IN DAYLIGHT
“What do you get when a writer of extreme intelligence, insight, style and beauty chronicles the lives of self-absorbed hedonists―The Great Gatsby, Bright Lights, Big City, and now Neon in Daylight. Hermione Hoby paints a garish world that drew me in and held me spellbound. She is a marvel.” ― Ann Patchett, author of Commonwealth
“Neon in Daylight is a classic New York City novel―sleek and stylish, both in literary craft and in the milieu portrayed. Hermione Hoby’s misfits combust on the page, but what sets this book apart is that her city isn’t just a playground―it’s remarkably lonely, punctuated by a series of connections and breakdowns that leave you feeling compassion for the characters long after the book is finished.” ― Stephanie Danler, New York Times bestselling author of Sweetbitter
“Bracingly intelligent and imbued with deep, humane wit, Neon in Daylight is an ode to the transience of the present, an exploration of the fierce and fragile bonds that guide us. Hermione Hoby channels the spirit of Joan Didion and the keen observational eye of Ben Lerner to show us the here and now, made luminously real.” ― Alexandra Kleeman, author of You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine