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Amy Bloom's first vel for eight years revitalises the American road trip vel, from the perspective of a vulnerable but spirited woman. It paints a vivid, earthy and surprising picture of 1920s America, its smells and textures, its population of drifters and con artists, pimps and prostitutes. Away is storytelling at its finest - epic in sweep, but intimate and psychologically acute, moving but unsentimental. Like the vels of Sarah Waters, it is both richly authentic in its period detail, and fresh and contemporary in its style. But above all Bloom has created an unforgettable character in Lillian Leyb - her voice, haunted, damaged yet incent, passionate, witty and unpretentious, is so believable and strong that her presence lingers long after the vel ends.
Amy Bloom is the author of two collections of stories, Come to Me and A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You, a novel, Love Invents Us, and a non-fiction book, Normal. A practising psychotherapist, Bloom teaches creative writing at Yale University