An electrifying novel of blood-ties, online identities, and our tormented efforts to connect in the digital age.

At twenty-three, Alice Hare leaves England for New York. She falls in love with Manhattan, and becomes fixated on Mizuko Himura, an intriguing Japanese writer whose life has strange parallels to her own.

As Alice closes in on Mizuko, her ‘internet twin’, realities multiply and fact and fiction begin to blur. The relationship between the two women exposes a tangle of lies and sexual encounters. Three families collide as Alice learns that the swiftest answer to an ancient question – where do we come from? – can now be found online.

One of Entertainment Weekly’s “16 Debut Novels to Read in 2017”
One of the Observer’s “New Faces of Fiction for 2017”
One of Elle UK’s “Six Top Debut Authors of 2017”
One of i-D/Vice’s “10 Brilliant Emerging Female Authors to Read in 2017”
One of ReadItForward’s “17 Books We’re Excited to Read in 2017”
One of the Lady Magazine’s “Must-reads for 2017”
One of Refinery 29’s “2017 Books We’re Most Excited About Right Now​”
One of Autostraddle’s “45 Queer Feminist Books To Read in Early 2017”
One of Bookanista’s Spring 2017 highlights
One of Sheerluxe’s “The Books To Read Before Anyone Else Does”

‘The best fictional account I’ve read of the way the internet has shaped our inner lives. A literary thriller that confirms the arrival of a major new talent.’ Alex Preston, Observer Fiction to Look out for in 2017

‘Sympathy is an astute, quirky, slow-burning satire…Rarely do novels so ostentatiously of the moment succeed so well at gesturing to the universal…Exquisite.’ The Guardian

‘A thrilling debut that skewers our digital culture…an intelligent and absorbing literary thriller.’ Financial Times

‘The book of the summer.’ Vice (UK)

‘The addictive new book about Instagram that everyone is reading.’ Evening Standard

‘If last summer’s must-read debut was Emma Cline’s The Girls, this year it’s undoubtedly Olivia Sudjic’s remarkable Sympathy.’ Vogue (UK)

‘Exceptional.’ Literary Review

‘[An] impressive debut novel…A gripping odyssey into one woman’s online-addled inner life.’ Independent 

‘Shot through with dark humour and prose that burns like a laptop overheating on your thighs, Sympathy captures the exquisite agony of life online.’ AnOther Magazine

‘This impressive novel is alive with clever ideas.’ The Times

‘Inventive and highly charged…Compelling.’ The Telegraph

‘Sudjic’s book is stylish and smart.’ The Observer

‘Olivia Sudjic’s hotly tipped debut offers a shrewd examination of how love stories are transformed by the distorting filter of the internet…super-smart.’ Daily Mail

Sympathy will double-click your heart.’ Vanity Fair (US)

‘Filled with explosive intelligence and dark humour, Sympathy is both beautiful and raw.’ Elle, Author to Watch 2017

‘The first great Instagram novel…exceptionally unnerving…a remarkable debut.’ New Republic

‘An ultra-modern thriller, Sudjic’s book explores intimacy and identity in the age of the internet. Smart, funny and provoking, this warped love story is every bit as addictive as your ex’s Instagram account.’ Refinery 29 (UK)

‘A brilliantly claustrophobic read.’ Psychologies Magazine

‘This is a disturbing and brilliant novel.’ Emerald Street

Sympathy is a haunting exploration of our digital lives, and as dizzyingly addictive as scrolling through your ex’s Facebook pictures.’ Diva

‘Fresh, topical, switched-on… This is a potent first novel from a formidable talent.’ Minneapolis Star Tribune

‘Clever, riddled with a network of allusions similar to that of Marisha Pessl’s Special Topics in Calamity Physics…Olivia Sudjic’s smart debut novel is an uncomfortably contemporary tale of unrequited love in the internet age.’ New York Times Book Review

‘A new direction for literature and fiction.’ NPR, Weekend Edition

‘A darkly beautiful debut novel about Instagram-enabled obsession.’ i-D Magazine, 10 brilliant emerging female authors to read in 2017

‘In the digital age, the lives of glamorous others have never felt more tantalizingly near, or so finds the lonely antiheroine of Olivia Sudjic’s Sympathy.’ Vogue (US)

Sympathy turns out to be—like so many mysteries—a book about the past rising back into the present and setting everything askew. It’s a haunting conclusion to a novel that’s frequently disarming.’ Lit Hub

‘…a gently disturbing, Cronenberg-y conflation of mind and device…Sympathy speaks to themes of self-containment and psychic purity similar to those in Catherine Lacey’s “big data dating” parable The Answers, or Alexandra Kleeman’s comparably creepy, gently dystopian You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine.’ The Stinging Fly

‘Sympathy certainly represents an extraordinary coming together of stories and ideas.’ The Spectator

Sudjic’s compulsive debut charts the depths of desperation and torment to which humans can be pushed in a warped effort to find connection.’ Sheerluxe

‘The reason to read this novel, aside from the au courant topic, is the luscious, absorbing writing.’ Library Journal

‘A mind-bending novel that skillfully depicts the bizarre interplay of technology and intimacy with a story that is compassionate, funny, and incredibly alarming.’ Claire-Louise Bennett, author of Pond

‘Brilliant, compelling, beautifully written and deeply disturbing.’ Martha Lane Fox

‘A powerful and original novel.’ Diana Athill

‘A dark, nuanced, fantastical and thrilling debut novel, posing questions of reality vs. fiction and exploring the ways that infatuation causes us to lose ourselves.’ Chloe Caldwell, author of Women and I’ll Tell You in Person

‘An unreliable narrator for an unreliable medium: Sudjic’s tale of ennui, obsession and dysfunction is an apt antidote for the age of Instagram.’ Cory Doctorow, author of Little Brother

‘An impressive debut. Complex, crisp and highly topical.’ Vesna Goldsworthy, author of Gorsky and Chernobyl Strawberries

‘Olivia Sudjic elegantly explores the warped world of intimacies formed online – and how quickly those intimacies derail. Global in scope, as subtle as it is suspenseful, Sympathy is an extraordinary debut.’ Idra Novey, author of Ways to Disappear

‘At once a riveting mystery and a literary tour de force, Sympathy had me spellbound from the first page to the last.’ Emily Gould, author of Friendship

‘A memorable debut. Sudjic’s acute observation and sharp wit engage readers from the off, but the real revelation here is how Sympathy deepens and darkens as it goes into something altogether rawer, wiser and more challenging.’ Peter Ho Davies, author of The Fortunes 

Author: Sudjic, Olivia
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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