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Dear Edna Sloane


Edna Sloane was a promising author at the top of her game. Her debut novel was an instant classic and commercial success, vaulting her into the heady echelons of the 1980s New York City lit scene. Then she disappeared and was largely forgotten. Decades later, Seth Edwards is an aspiring writer and editor who feels he’s done all the right things to achieve literary success, but despairs that his dream will be forever out of reach. He becomes obsessed with the idea that if he can rediscover Sloane, it will make his career. His search for her leads to unexpected places and connections, and the epistolary correspondence that ensues makes up this book, a novel infused with insights and meditations about what our cultural obsession with the “next big thing” does to literature, and what it means to be a creative person in the world.

Dear Edna Sloane was featured on Lilith Magazine's Anticipated in 2024 list and Write or Die's Books We Can't Wait to Read in April 2024 list.


Out April 30, 2024. Preorder today!

"Shearn’s fourth novel is a collage of digital and analog correspondence and documents of all sorts, from Seth’s inquiries in a true-crime subreddit to an online listing for enamel pins of Edna—“We think the air of mystery adds to her glamour!” The book swings between Edna’s late-1980s Brat Pack readings and Seth’s late-2010s clickbait-content Wild West, offering a side-by-side that underlines how precarious publishing became in the intervening decades. The protagonists’ pen pal relationship is endearing, and the book provides commentary on the industry that will appeal to career book people and pleasure readers alike."—Kirkus Reviews 
"In the late 1980s Edna Sloane was the book world's darling - until she disappeared. In 2018 an aspiring writer, desperate to write something more than the next internet listicle sets out to track her down. Their story is laid out in this sophisticated, hilarious, incisive epistolary novel - a book that is like Edna Sloane herself: satirical, deeply feminist, and utterly delightful." —Rachel Person, Northshire Bookstore staff pick

“I’ve long been an ardent, near-obsessive fan of Amy Shearn’s sophisticated, hilarious, big-hearted fiction, and with Dear Edna Sloane, she once again knocks it out of the park. This charming, compulsively readable novel—which I read in one sitting, laughing out loud every few minutes—brilliantly satirizes the literary world in a manner that reminded me, somehow, of both Laurie Colwin and Candace Bushnell, Curtis Sittenfeld and, more than any other writer, Taffy Brodesser-Akner. But what fuels this tour de force—aside from Shearn’s pitch-perfect tone and precise, urgent sentences—are her complex, lovable characters and their emotionally resonant thoughts and ideas. I wanted to live inside this book forever.” —Joanna Rakoff, author of My Salinger Year

“Oh to be inside Amy Shearn’s head to figure out how she wrote such a wise, witty, and brilliantly knowing novel about the literary life and how authors connect to readers—and to themselves. Seth, a hungry young writer, sets out to find a once-famous and now-vanished novelist, Edna Sloane, sure his discovery will set him up in the literary stratosphere. And here is where things get outrageously creative, because much of his search is told through correspondence, and the deeper his search for Edna, the more his truest—and sometimes uncomfortable—self emerges. Delightful, insightful, and so, so wonderfully meaningful to anyone who truly cares about the arts. I just loved this.” —Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You, Cruel Beautiful World, and With or Without You

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