Red Hen Press is excited to announce the acceptance of a new book, The Likely World, from Agent Bill Clegg, of The Clegg Agency. Melanie Conroy-Goldman’s debut novel is a gritty tale of addiction, loss, and recovery, and is set to release in the fall of 2020.

Book Synopsis

A mother struggling to stay clean and care for her toddler Juni has her life and sobriety upended by the sudden arrival and disappearance of a man she thought was gone forever. In search of this man, the father of her child, Mellie is drawn back into a netherworld she once inhabited, a world plagued by the drug “cloud” and the long term damage that it inflicts upon the mind. She must retrace the winding, bloody path the drug has scrawled across her life, from her first encounter as a teenager lost in the sweat and fog of the nascent Boston punk scene, to her descent from bohemian student to desperate addict in early 90s New York, and finally to the antiseptic glare of a porn set and the harsh California sun. As the pursuit continues and the specter of Mellie’s past acquires a terrifying solidity, she will have to fight for Juni and the fraction of a family that she has tried so hard to build.

The Reviews Are In

Author Melanie Conroy Goldman and her debut novel have already received early praise. Mary Gaitskill writes:

The Likely World is bizarre and beautiful, equal parts brainy lit and gut-bucket pulp. Its heroine is unlike any female character I’ve ever encountered and I love her.”

Peter Ho Davies writes:

“Conroy-Goldman’s gritty, street postmodernism will rewire your brain in ways that recall David Foster Wallace or Philip K. Dick. But it’s the depth of feeling here, about love, about motherhood, reminiscent of Rachel Kushner or Claire Vaye Watkins, that will break your heart.”

We can’t wait to share this fantastic new title with you!

Meet the Author

Melanie Conroy-Goldman teaches fiction writing as an associate professor of English at the Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. Her work has appeared in The Southern Review and McSweeney’s Internet Tendencies. She lives in Ithaca, New York with her husband, daughter, and two step-daughters. In addition to teaching and writing, she runs the Trias Residency for Writers and teaches for the Cornell Prison Education Program. The Likely World will be her first published novel.

Melanie Conroy-Goldman is represented by Bill Clegg. The Clegg Agency is based in New York and publishes autobiography/memoir, literary fiction, narrative nonfiction, and poetry. Clients include Emma Cline, Nick Flynn, Rivka Galchen, Lauren Groff, Christopher Hebert, Tao Lin, Ottessa Moshfegh, Rob Spillman, Matthew Thomas, and Kao Kalia Yang.

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