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About the book
  • Published: 6 July 2017
  • ISBN: 9781473524316
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 176

A Poison Apple




Is it better to burn out than to fade away? A mesmeric novel of loss and regret, from the prize-winning Brazilian novelist Michel Laub.

*Selected as one of the Best Books 2017 in the Financial Times*
'One of Brazil’s finest authors offers a meditation on betrayal, guilt, survival and the many ways in which personal and collective histories collide' - Ángel Gurría-Quintana

Is it better to burn out than to fade away? An entrancing novel of loss and regret, from the prizewinning Brazilian novelist Michel Laub.

In this sinuous meditation on passion, youth and guilt, a man looks back over twenty years to his relationship with his first love, Valeria, and its tragic climax..

They both had tickets to Nirvana in 1993, the only gig the band ever played in Brazil. But he was on military service and failed to join her. She was there with his best friend instead. Consumed by insecurities and tricks of memory, he continues to feel, two decades later, that one fateful night has defined his entire adult life.

Entwining this most personal story with seminal events of the 1990s, A Poison Apple circles around and back to some of the biggest questions: what is a life worth? What does it mean to really commit to living? And can we ever break free of the past?

Successor to his prizewinning Diary of the Fall, this is a beautiful and haunting novel that shows Michel Laub at his mesmeric best.

  • Pub date: 6 July 2017
  • ISBN: 9781473524316
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 176

About the Author

Michel Laub

Michel Laub was born in Porto Alegre and currently lives in Sao Paulo. He is a writer and journalist, and was named one of Granta's twenty 'Best of Young Brazilian Novelists'. Diary of the Fall, which received the Brasilia Award, was his first novel to appear in English. It won the Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Literary Prize 2015 and was shortlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award 2016.

Also by Michel Laub

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Praise for A Poison Apple

“It is both timely and gratifying to see one of the country’s outstanding writers come to the attention of an English-language readership”

Ángel Gurría-Quintana, Financial Times

“I read A Poison Apple in two impulsive, impatient sittings... Michel Laub is one of the most intelligent novelists at work south of the equator. If he were north of the equator, he’d be one of the most intelligent novelists there too. I love the minute intricacy of his compositions, and the way they stage such giant traumas.”

Adam Thirlwell

“In this sly and unexpected novel, Laub asks how some thrive in spite of trauma and others fall apart in the face of success.”

Financial Times

“DIARY OF THE FALL: Extraordinary... In my world, this novel is already a classic”

Karl Ove Knausgaard

“DIARY OF THE FALL: A work of immense incantatory power”

Neel Mukherjee, Literary Review

“One of Brazil’s finest authors offers a meditation on betrayal, guilt, survival and the many ways in which personal and collective histories collide.”

Financial Times, Best Books of 2017

“The narrator is. . . a Nick Carraway-type whose apparent detachment eventually collapses to reveal deep emotion. In this sly and unexpected novel, Laub asks how some thrive in spite of trauma and others fall apart in the face of success.”

Financial Times


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