Nonfiction by Julie Myerson review – fact into incandescent fiction

The experience of her own son’s drug addiction inspires the novelist’s overwhelming dive into grief, regret and love

In Julie Myerson’s latest work of fiction, the first-person narrator, herself a novelist, receives a fan letter from a student about a book she published some years previously. “I know it’s a novel, but it didn’t feel like one,” the young woman emails. “It felt more like a memoir – something about how direct it was – it almost felt like a confession at times.”

She could well be describing Nonfiction: A Novel. Though Myerson has built up a sizeable backlist of edgy, psychologically dark tales, this 11th novel cuts deeper than any of its predecessors. Its title may sound overly meta, but here is a book that instantly sucks the reader down into a swirling vortex of grief, trauma and powerlessness.

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