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'Brilliant, compelling, entertaining and a joy to read ... an extraordinarily good book.' - Philippa Perry'A riveting story and a meditation on work, loss, intimacy, and desire' - Ottessa Moshfegh'Haunting, original, intelligent' - Tessa Hadley'Powerful and thought-provoking' - Claire Fuller'It has remained with me in a way few other books have ever done' - Sarah Perry'Breathtaking; raw, powerful and pivotally, unabashed' Aoife Abbey'Lyrical, tender, and profoundly insightful' - Abraham VergheseElla is nearing thirty, and not yet living the life she imagined. Her artistic ambitions as a student have given way to an unintended career as a care worker. One spring, Bryn - a retired carpenter - hires her to help him care for Jill, his wife of many years. A car accident caused a brain injury that has left Jill verbally diminished; she moves about the house like a ghost of her former self.
As Ella is drawn ever deeper into the couple's household, she is profoundly moved by the tenderness Bryn shows toward the wife he still fiercely loves. Ella is startled by the yearning this awakens in her, one that complicates her feelings for her girlfriend, Alix, and causes her to look at relationships of all kinds - between partners, between employer and employee, and above all between men and women - in new ways.
Tightly woven, humane and insightful, tracing the most intimate reaches of a young woman's heart and mind, Say Say Say is a riveting story about what it means to love, in a world where time is always running out.

Say say say - Lila Savage

9781788162227
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Title
Say say say
Author
Lila Savage
format
Hardback
Publisher
Serpent's Tail
Language
English
UK Publication Date
20190808

'Brilliant, compelling, entertaining and a joy to read ... an extraordinarily good book.' - Philippa Perry'A riveting story and a meditation on work, loss, intimacy, and desire' - Ottessa Moshfegh'Haunting, original, intelligent' - Tessa Hadley'Powerful and thought-provoking' - Claire Fuller'It has remained with me in a way few other books have ever done' - Sarah Perry'Breathtaking; raw, powerful and pivotally, unabashed' Aoife Abbey'Lyrical, tender, and profoundly insightful' - Abraham VergheseElla is nearing thirty, and not yet living the life she imagined. Her artistic ambitions as a student have given way to an unintended career as a care worker. One spring, Bryn - a retired carpenter - hires her to help him care for Jill, his wife of many years. A car accident caused a brain injury that has left Jill verbally diminished; she moves about the house like a ghost of her former self.
As Ella is drawn ever deeper into the couple's household, she is profoundly moved by the tenderness Bryn shows toward the wife he still fiercely loves. Ella is startled by the yearning this awakens in her, one that complicates her feelings for her girlfriend, Alix, and causes her to look at relationships of all kinds - between partners, between employer and employee, and above all between men and women - in new ways.
Tightly woven, humane and insightful, tracing the most intimate reaches of a young woman's heart and mind, Say Say Say is a riveting story about what it means to love, in a world where time is always running out.

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Lila Savage is originally from Minneapolis. Prior to writing fiction, she spent nearly a decade working as a caregiver. Her work has appeared in The Threepenny Review. She is the recipient of a Wallace Stegner fellowship and graduated from the Iowa Writers' Workshop in 2018. She lives in San Francisco.

Say Say Say is something quite special, unlike anything else I've ever read. Lila Savage's voice is distinctive, perhaps the timbre of a new generation - its deadpan; its fascination with randomness and accident; its lack of interest in making rounded meaning. I love the way Ella's intense thoughts and feelings on one page are contradicted by different intense thoughts and feelings (and certainties) a few pages later. Which is like life. Yet there's no show of anomie or alienation, no effort to shock (even though the material is shocking). Lila Savage's imagination is warm and generous. Her novel is haunting, original, intelligent.
Tessa Hadley

Say Say Say is a powerful and thought-provoking novel about the role of care-giver and whether simple kindness is enough. In looking after someone profoundly changed after a car accident, Ella confronts her own prejudices and discovers more about herself. An impressive and affecting debut, this book had me reflecting on compassion, gender roles, and what it means to love.
Claire Fuller

Say Say Say will likely make you cry, but this is a rare novel in which such responses feel clean and ennobling, free from manipulation. It is a book written for the better angels of our nature ... wonderful
Wall Street Journal

A gem of a book. A lyrical, tender, and profoundly insightful dive into the act of caregiving and its highly charged nexus of love, duty, and longing. Lila Savage is an enormous talent; Say Say Say is a mesmerising tour de force.
Abraham Verghese

Wise and understated ... Say Say Say asks difficult questions, of society and of the self. There are no easy answers, but in the novel's quietly radical choice of subject matter and its open-eyed, open-hearted curiosity, it illuminates both the intimate dramas usually hidden behind closed doors and the shifting mysteries of personality and relationship.
Guardian - Justine Jordan

Lila Savage, through the experience of the caregiver Ella, vividly illuminates what sustains us when facing suffering and loss: relationships based on trust, honesty, humility and, most of all, the tenacity of love. Say Say Say stirs the reader's mind and heart, and resonates long after the book is closed.
Jerome Groopman

Lila's observations on the ordinary lives of one carer and one couple living with the wake of a devastating brain injury between them are breathtaking; raw, powerful and pivotally, unabashed. Her writing is effortlessly absorbed. Say Say Say asks what exactly it can mean to love, when you care for life's most vulnerable people and the answer is both devastating and beautiful.
Aoife Abbey

I cannot think when I last read a novel which moved me so deeply. Savage is almost supernaturally alert to the little gestures and transactions we all make as we negotiate our place in the world, and our relations to each other. Her approach is both unflinching and extraordinarily tender, so that I came away feeling I had undergone an examination which was somehow both painful and kind. I loved it, and it has remained with me in a way few other books have ever done
Sarah Perry

Say Say Say is brilliant, compelling, entertaining and a joy to read. I loved that it was about a relationship that wasn't a partner or lover relationship, but nevertheless very intimate. It is an extraordinarily good book.
Philippa Perry

Luminous . . . A startling, tender debut. [As] Ella, a young caregiver, finds herself gradually immersed in Bryn and Jill's lives, her role as Jill's companion evolves into something more intimate and complex . . . What Ella witnesses between [the couple] challenges her ideas of love, spirituality, and empathy. Quietly forceful, Savage's luminous debut is beautifully written, and will stay with readers long after the final page.
Publisher's Weekly starred review

A bright spot in the maelstrom: a book called Say Say Say. It's a smooth and assured portrait of a character's interior world, as well as a meditation on our assumptions about care work, and heterosexual relationships.
Emily Gould

Poetic, elegant. . . Say Say Say teaches several valuable lessons: How to be present with grace and dignity. How not to look away. How life goes on... Savage follows the opposite arcs of these two women with such kindness (that's the only word for it), even the most difficult moments of the story feel buffered by grace.
San Francisco Chronicle - Elisabeth Egan

Type
BOOK
Edition
Hardback original
Country of Publication
England
Number of Pages
161

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