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In Listen to Me, Pittard takes a slice, a sample from a marriage and examines it under a microscope with great respect for both partners. Totally relatable, sad, and encouraging all at once, I highly recommend this story of a husband and wife on a car trip. Trust me, it's way more than that.
— Rachel Watkins
A page-turning modern gothic about a marriage and road trip gone hauntingly awry
A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice
“Pittard deserves the attention of anyone in search of today’s best fiction.” — Washington Post
“Revelatory.” — The New Yorker
“[Listen to Me] gripped me completely and even gave me nightmares, which is high praise in my book.” — Chicago Tribune
Mark and Maggie’s annual drive east to visit family has gotten off to a rocky start. By the time they’re on the road, it’s late, a storm is brewing, and they are no longer speaking to each other. Adding to the stress, Maggie—recently mugged at gunpoint—is lately not herself, and Mark is at a loss about what to make of the stranger he calls his wife. When the couple is forced to stop for the night at a remote inn completely without power, Maggie’s paranoia reaches an all-time and terrifying high. But as Mark finds himself threatened in a dark parking lot, it’s Maggie who takes control.
“Pittard proves herself a master of ordinary suspense.” — New York Times
“Listen to Me elides so many genres that it’s Houdini-like, bursting through constraints. It moves between its two characters’ inner lives as effortlessly as an Olympic swimmer strokes through water.” — Ann Beattie, Paris Review blog
“A psychologically complex, addictive, and quick-moving read. I didn’t want it to end!” — M.O. Walsh, author of New York Times best-selling novel My Sunshine Away
About the Author
HANNAH PITTARD was born in Atlanta. She is the author of four novels, including Listen to Me and The Fates Will Find Their Way. Her work has appeared in the Sewanee Review, the New York Times, and other publications. She is a professor of English at the University of Kentucky, where she directs the MFA program in creative writing.
Praise for Listen to Me
“Hannah Pittard’s got the goods. There’s no doubt about it. Listen to Me has a way of making you uneasy from the get go. Maybe it’s the approaching storm, the dark night, all the terrible things that might be hiding around the corner. Or maybe it’s just how much the main characters, with all of their faults and scars and frustrated desires, remind us of ourselves. Regardless, this is a psychologically complex, addictive, and quick moving read. I didn’t want it to end!” —M. O. Walsh, author of New York Times best-selling novel My Sunshine Away
“Listen to Me is the sort of novel you want to read in one sitting: suspenseful, unsettling, and beautifully written. Hannah Pittard goes into one couple’s dark night of the soul with surprising charm and wit, but also with a fierce and intelligent honesty.” —Dean Bakopoulos, author ofSummerlong
“In Listen to Me, Hannah Pittard takes the reader on a young married couple’s chilling road trip. The dangers and mishaps of the physical journey provide enormous suspense but still greater are all the fears each houses within. Pittard is a gifted writer with an excellent eye for the intricate details that shape a relationship.” —Jill McCorkle, author ofLife After Life
“An unflinching look at the tightrope walk of marriage, Hannah Pittard’s Listen to Me holds a mirror up to our own twisted and hopeful idiosyncrasies. Pittard is an expert guide to the dark places of the soul, revealing how the smallest shift of balance in our fragile psyches can set off a chain of mini-detonations. But like the rain that accompanies this journey across America’s heartland, Pittard’s close empathy is a clarifying wash. This is the best kind of road trip novel: one where the tension drowns out the radio.”—Katy Simpson Smith, author of The Story of Land and Sea
“Hannah Pittard’s Listen to Me is a dazzling new novel with a perfectly drawn forty-something couple on a positively Hitchcockian misadventure. As the suspense grows, their world turns darker and more menacing, threatened by violent weather and bizarre people, like the cowboy who, out of nowhere, remarks on Maggie’s appearance—or does he? By then you know you’re in for the duration, a ride into the heart of darkness, West Virginia style, where, after a night in hell and a heartbreakingly high price, they find what they’re looking for—a way out, a second chance.” —Frederick Barthelme, author of There Must Be Some Mistake and Waveland
“The Millennials are coming of age, and they’re getting married. In the shadows of meticulously planned domestic bliss, far from the pages of social media, young couples are discovering how little they know the ones they love. The story of Maggie and Mark, their fears and their misconceptions, is told with propulsive clarity, elegance, and wit. Listen to Me captures a cultural moment with stunning prescience, and Hannah Pittard’s prose reads like a memory in waiting.” —Michael Pitre, author ofFives and Twenty-Fives
“Hannah Pittard’s Listen to Me is a strange and wonderful book about the mysteries of coupledom and the long surreal highways of America. It’s written in a lean and elegant prose and I read these pages in one long and enthralled sitting.”—Darcey Steinke, author ofSuicide Blonde andSister Golden Hai