'We watched the colors come up from the town and into the sky, I would tell you that the fireworks were for you. Look, I'd say, and you'd look. I'd tell you that everyone was celebrating that you were here. And
you'd stare up with your eyes big and your little mouth hanging open, as if you couldn't believe your good luck.'
It is the day of her brother's wedding and our narrator is struggling with her toast. Despite a recent fracture between them, her brother Danny has asked her to give a speech. She doesn't know where to begin; for how to put words to their kind of love? She was nine years old when she travelled with her parents to Thailand to meet her brother, six years her junior. They grew up together like any other siblings and their childhood in Northern California was a happy one. Yet when she holds their story up to the light, it refracts in ways she doesn't expect.
What follows is a heartfelt letter addressed to Danny and an attempt at a full accounting of their years growing up and an exploration of the distance now between them. As the time left until the wedding ticks down, she uncovers the words that can't and won't be said aloud.
In Immediate Family, a tender and fierce debut novel, one luminous with love, Ashley Nelson Levy explores the enduring bond between two siblings and the complexities of motherhood, infertility, race, and the many definitions of family.
Ashley Nelson Levy received her MFA from Columbia University, where she was awarded the Clein-Lemann Esperanza Fellowship. Her work has been a notable mention in Best American Nonrequired Reading, and she's the recipient of the Bambi Holmes Award for Emerging Writers. In 2015, she cofounded Transit Books, an independent publishing house with a focus on international literature. Immediate Family is her first book.
Paperback - B format
Fiction & related items