'Want' by Lynn Steger Strong out in July

BY Audrey Deng, June 29, 2020

Want, a novel by Adjunct Assistant Professor Lynn Steger Strong ’14, headlined a Vulture review as “the summer book I couldn’t put down.” “Want...is a defining novel of our age of left-behind families,” writes Hillary Kelly. “[It] is an ideal sample of how to produce fiction that is timely and timeless.”

Want, which is released in July, has joined multiple summer reading lists including the New York Times’s “16 Books to Watch For in July,” LitHub’s “The Best New Books to Read This Summer,” and Buzzfeed’s “29 Summer Books You Won’t Be Able to Put Down.” All of which is to say that Want arrives in bookstores highly recommended.

Strong was born and raised in South Florida. After graduating from Columbia’s MFA program in 2014, she published her first novel Hold Still in 2017. Want is Strong’s second novel.

Time observes that Strong’s latest book is perhaps a more intimate examination of desire: “In her debut novel, Hold Still, Strong examined the intensity of love that exists within a familial unit. In Want, the author interrogates that intensity again through Elizabeth, who is feeling increasingly trapped by her desires. For Elizabeth, desperate to lead a life different from her upbringing, devotion to her academic ambitions and motherhood leave her emotionally, physically and financially drained. She laments, ‘My body almost single-handedly bankrupted us.’”

Publishers Weekly calls Want an impressive follow-up to Hold Still, adding that the former is “well worth a look.”

An excerpt of the novel is available on Macmillan.