In Tell the Wolves I'm Home
, Carol Rifka Brunt has made a singular portrait of the late-'80s AIDS epidemic's transformation of a girl and her family. But beyond that, she tells a universal story of how love chooses us, and how flashes of our beloved live through us even after they're gone. Before her Uncle Finn died of an illness people don't want to talk about, 14-year-old June Elbus thought she was the center of his world. A famous and reclusive painter, Finn made her feel uniquely understood, privy to secret knowledge like how to really hear Mozart's Requiem
or see the shape of negative space. When he's gone, June discovers he had a bigger secret: his longtime partner, Toby, the only other person who misses him as much as she does. Her clandestine friendship with Toby--whom her parents blame for Finn's illness--sharpens tensions with her sister, Greta, until their bond seems to exist only in the portrait Finn painted of them. With wry compassion, Brunt portrays the bitter lengths to which we will go to hide our soft underbellies, and how summoning the courage to be vulnerable is the only way to see through to each other's hungry, golden souls. --Mari Malcolm
Advance praise for "Tell the Wolves I'm Home" "[A] transcendent debut... Peopled by characters who will live in readers' imaginations long after the final page is turned, Brunt's novel is a beautifully bittersweet mix of heartbreak and hope."--"Booklist" (starred review)"In ["Tell the Wolves I'm Home"], 15-year-old June must come to terms with the death of her beloved uncle Finn, an artist, from AIDS in 1980s New York. ...What begins as a wary relationship between former rivals for Finn's affection blossoms touchingly."-"PW""A gorgeously evocative novel about love, loss, and the ragged mysteries of the human heart, all filtered through the achingly real voice of a remarkable young heroine. How can you not fall in love with a book that shows you how hope can make a difference?"--Caroline Leavitt, "New York Times" bestselling author of "Pictures of You" ""Tell the Wolves I'm Home" is a charming, sure-handed, and deeply sympathetic debut. Brunt writes about family, adolescence, and the human heart with great candor, insight, and pathos."--Jonathan Evison, "New York Times" bestselling author of "West of Here" ""Tell the Wolves I'm Home" is a tale as charming and magnetic as the missing character at its heart. It's a love story of the most unusual kind--several love stories, really--vivid and madly relatable, heartening as well as heartbreaking. Brunt is a captivating storyteller and a wonderful new voice."--Rebecca Makkai, author of "The Borrower""Not since "To Kill A Mockingbird "have I read a piece of fiction that so beautifully captures the point of view of a young person, especially one so inspiringly unable to accept the prejudices of others....at turns getting away- with-it exhilarating and pass-the-tissues heartbreaking -- but also a testament to the power of secrets kept and revealed."--"Metrosource"