Less Is Lost (Hardcover)
“Go get lost somewhere, it always does you good.”
For Arthur Less, life is going surprisingly well: he is a moderately accomplished novelist in a steady relationship with his partner, Freddy Pelu. But nothing lasts: the death of an old lover and a sudden financial crisis has Less running away from his problems yet again as he accepts a series of literary gigs that send him on a zigzagging adventure across the US.
Less roves across the “Mild Mild West,” through the South and to his mid-Atlantic birthplace, with an ever-changing posse of writerly characters and his trusty duo – a human-like black pug, Dolly, and a rusty camper van nicknamed Rosina. He grows a handlebar mustache, ditches his signature gray suit, and disguises himself in the bolero-and-cowboy-hat costume of a true “Unitedstatesian”... with varying levels of success, as he continues to be mistaken for either a Dutchman, the wrong writer, or, worst of all, a “bad gay.”
We cannot, however, escape ourselves—even across deserts, bayous, and coastlines. From his estranged father and strained relationship with Freddy, to the reckoning he experiences in confronting his privilege, Arthur Less must eventually face his personal demons. With all of the irrepressible wit and musicality that made Less a bestselling, Pulitzer Prize-winning, must-read breakout book, Less Is Lost is a profound and joyous novel about the enigma of life in America, the riddle of love, and the stories we tell along the way.
Andrew Sean Greer is the Pulitzer Prize winning author of six works of fiction, including the bestsellers The Confessions of Max Tivoli and Less. Greer has taught at a number of universities, including the Iowa Writers Workshop, been a TODAY show pick, a New York Public Library Cullman Center Fellow, a judge for the National Book Award, and a winner of the California Book Award and the New York Public Library Young Lions Award. He is the recipient of a NEA grant, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. He lives in San Francisco.
"Does Andrew Greer think of himself as a comic novelist? Does a giraffe think of itself as a giraffe? Probably it doesn’t matter. This book, though, is wildly, painfully, funny. It sometimes hurts to read it."—David Sedaris, author of Happy-Go-Lucky
"It is a deep pleasure to return to the adventures of Arthur Less and his beloved Freddy. Greer is a brilliant storyteller as always, and the joyfulness of this book is a balm. I loved reading it.”—Madeline Miller, bestselling author of CIRCE
“What a joy to be reunited with the beloved, hapless, utterly delightful Arthur Less. With tenderness, wit and his incomparably lovely prose, Greer probes that most profound and mysterious of subjects: love.”—Katie Kitamura, author of Intimacies
“Excited to be reunited with our neurotic hero Arthur Less, I ripped through this sequel. It was a thrill to go on this odyssey with Less where even the most picayune comic encounters turn profound. Vulnerable and witty, Less is Lost is a joy.”—Cathy Park Hong, bestselling author of Minor Feelings
“There is no better guide across America than Arthur Less, the ‘bad gay’ whose engaging awkwardness and self-deprecation are tragically funny and hugely insightful. We should all be so lost.”—Bonnie Garmus, author of Lessons in Chemistry
"'Andrew Sean Greer's writing nails both the absurdity of the human condition and its wistful beauty. Arthur Less is an unforgettable literary creation and I was so happy to be back in his company as he continues his elegant muddle through life."—Elizabeth Day, author of Magpie
"Another delightful road story...Greer packs in plenty of humor and some nicely poignant moments. Fans will eat this up."
"Less is Lost by Andrew Sean Greer: If you, as I did, loved the Pulitzer-Prize winning Less, then you’ll be excited to learn that Greer has penned a sequel about the lovable writer, Arthur Less. This time, Less is on a road trip in the States with a famous science fiction author and his black pug named Dolly. Hilarity ensues."—The Millions, "Most Anticipated"
"I remember devouring Andrew Sean Greer’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Less in a single afternoon, unable to pull myself away from its tender, lightly painful, and very, very funny portrayal of Arthur Less, a novelist on a world-wide tour, fleeing from heartbreak. Less Is Lost sees Arthur on another tour, this one across the US, and in flight from the death of an old lover and a financial crisis. I can’t wait to enter his world again."—LitHub
PRAISE FOR LESS:
"Less is the funniest, smartest and most humane novel I've read since Tom Rachman's 2010 debut, The Imperfectionists. . . . Greer writes sentences of arresting lyricism and beauty. His metaphors come at you like fireflies. . . . Andrew Sean Greer's Less is excellent company. It's no less than bedazzling, bewitching and be-wonderful."—Christopher Buckley, New York Times Book Review
"Greer is an exceptionally lovely writer, capable of mingling humor with sharp poignancy.... Brilliantly funny.... Greer's narration, so elegantly laced with wit, cradles the story of a man who loses everything: his lover, his suitcase, his beard, his dignity."—Ron Charles, Washington Post
"Greer's novel is philosophical, poignant, funny and wise, filled with unexpected turns....Although Greer is gifted and subtle in comic moments, he's just as adept at ruminating on the deeper stuff. His protagonist grapples with aging, loneliness, creativity, grief, self-pity and more."—San Francisco Chronicle
"I recommend it with my whole heart."
"Marvelously, unexpectedly, endearingly funny. A love story focused on the erroneous belief that the second half of life will pale in comparison to the first. Guess what? It won't!"—Gary Shteyngart, author of Lake Success