In Susan Choi's new novel Trust Exercise, what happens in one highly competitive performing arts high school reverberates through lives—and across generations. When two freshmen fall in love, their passion does not go unnoticed—especially not by their charismatic acting teacher. The outside world of family life and economic status fails to penetrate this school’s walls—until a shocking spiral of events changes everything. Captivating, tender, and surprising, Trust Exercise will incite heated conversations about fiction and truth, friendships and loyalties, and the wise capacities of adolescents and the powers and responsibilities of adults. Choi is a recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. Her novel American Woman was a Pulitzer Prize finalist.
Lost and Wanted by Nell Freudenberger explores female friendship, love, and parenthood bonds. Helen Clapp, a renowned physicist and professor at MIT, is skeptical of anything pseudo-scientific, so it’s particularly vexing when she gets a phone call from her Harvard roommate Charlie Boyce—who has just died. Once on similar career paths, the two friends drifted apart after Charlie abandoned a potentially brilliant career in academia, in part because of unwanted attention from a star professor. As Helen is drawn back into Charlie’s orbit, she is forced to question the laws of the universe that once steadied her mind and heart. Freudenberger’s story collection Lucky Girls won the PEN/Malamud Award; she is also a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Whiting Award.