Featured in Buzz Books 2023 Great Reads Fall/Winter
"A wealth of keen insight and just the right touch of delightful humor." —Sigrid Nunez, author of The Friend
A kaleidoscopic story, unspooling over the twenty-four hours of a very contemporary woman’s sixtieth birthday.
Nine years have passed since Ana Koehl had sex with her pot-addicted anesthesiologist husband, seven since she began an affair with a gonzo journalist. She’s gratified by her work as a book doula, but burdened by her belief that she need always be on call. Her elderly mother’s birthday greeting is an inflation-adjusted calculation of the cost of raising Ana in a mice-infested house, her brother has hijacked the will of their recently deceased starchitect father, her adult child is changing rapidly before her eyes, and her best friend advocates for “the truth in lies.” Gazing out at the dark moat of Central Park from behind her desk, Ana sees that she can no longer postpone making peace with her past or confronting her present.
Narrated by Ana and the key figures in her life—her husband, her brother, her lover’s wife, to name a few—Ana Turns spirals through issues from capital punishment to the dynamiting of the Bamiyan Buddhas, culminating in a watershed dinner party, with Ana’s family members’ true colors on full display. By day’s end, the bounds of her own collaboration and forgiveness illuminated, Ana turns towards a vision of what she wants next in this blink of a life.