Negative Space by Gillian Linden

Negative Space by Gillian Linden
English | 2024 | General Fiction

A gem of a debut novel about a young mother navigating the instabilities of teaching, parenting, and marriage in the wake of the pandemic.


With deadpan humor and a keen eye for the strangeness of our days, Negative Space follows a week in the life of an English teacher at a New York private school. At home, her two children, increasingly restless, ask constant questions about mortality and find hidden wisdom in the cartoons they watch on television. Her husband tends to his plants and offers occasional counsel between Zoom calls to Hong Kong and Australia. And at school, as she navigates the currents between wealthy, increasingly disconnected students and bewildered faculty, she accidentally witnesses an ambiguous, possibly inappropriate interaction between a teacher and a student.… She feels compelled to say something, but how can she be sure of what she saw?

Precisely rendered and filled with sly observations about our off-kilter days, Negative Space is a witty and resonant portrait of a woman caught between the pressures of home and work, parenting and teaching, what’s normal and what isn’t. Writing with an acute sense of dread and delight, Gillian Linden has crafted a stunning debut that examines what we owe the people who depend on us in a fractured and indifferent world.

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