Nell Freudenberger © Jennifer Desmond

Nell Freudenberger

The Newlyweds

by Nell Freudenberger Fiction

  • US & Canada Knopf (May 2012, Ed. Robin Desser, 352 pages)
  • UK & Comm Viking (Ed. Mary Mount)

Entertainment Weekly Top 10 Fiction 2012 

Washington Post's 50 Notable Works of Fiction 2012

From one of America's most dazzling talents ("Young writers as ambitious--and as good--as Freudenberger give us reason for hope"

The New York Times Book Review) comes a cross-continental love story: a brilliantly observed, warmly engaging novel about the exhilarations—and complications—of getting, and staying, wed.

Amina Mazid is 24 when she leaves Bangladesh for Rochester, New York, and for George Stillman, the husband who met and wooed her online. It's a 21st century romance that echoes ancient traditions--the arranged marriages of her home country. And though George falls for Amina because she is "straightforward" and doesn't "play games," each is hiding something from the other. Amina struggles to find her place in America--as a Muslim woman; an aspiring teacher; a wife with her own desires. But it is only when they put an ocean between them that Amina and George discover if they have a future—or if their secrets will tear them apart.

Traveling from American suburbs to the cities of South Asia, The Newlyweds is a tour de force—a novel as rich with misunderstandings as it is unlikely connections.
The Newlyweds US cover
Impressive... Freudenberger is the real thing.

The Boston Globe

With her penetrating understanding of and respect for her subjects, both foreign and domestic, [Freudenberger is] an international writer of stature for the 21st century.

Yiyun Li Elle

Richly entertaining... her brisk, buoyant humanism will make you feel at home in the world.

USA Today

Writers as ambitious—and as good—as Nell Freudenberger give us reason for hope.

The New Times Book Review

Remarkable... a truly prodigious talent.

Richard Ford

Beguiling... One rich motherlode of writing talent.

The Seattle Times

A delicately observed second novel.

Publishers Weekly

“Freudenberger has rare humanity, and talent great enough to command not only a vast landscape of imbalance and misunderstanding, but also a tender sphere of tiny intimacy, hidden yearning...a marvelous book.”

Kiran Desai, author of The Inheritance of Loss

“A big, complicated portrait of marriage, culture, family, and love. Freudenberger never settles for an easy answer, and what she delivers is a story that feels absolutely true. Every minute I was away from this book I was longing to be back in the world she created.”

Ann Patchett, author of State of Wonder

“Wise, timely, ripe with humor and complexity, The Newlyweds is one of the most believable love stories of our young century.”

Gary Shytengart, author of Super Sad True Love Story

Exceptional... Here is an honest depiction of life as most people actually live it: Americans and Asians, Christians and Muslims, liberals and conservatives. Freudenberger writes with a cultural fluency that is remarkable and in a prose that is clean, intelligent, and very witty.

David Bezmozgis

Freudenberger draws women's complex lives as brilliantly as Austen or Wharton or Woolf, and, with The Newlyweds, has given a performance of beauty and grace.

Andrew Sean Greer

Once in a while, you come across a novel with characters so rich and nuanced, and situations so pitch-perfect, that you forget you're reading fiction. The Newlyweds is that sort of novel. I was floored by it—captivated from beginning to end. And now that I'm done, I can't stop thinking about it.

J. Courtney Sullivan

Dazzling... [a] rich, wise, bighearted novel.

Lisa Schwartzbaum Entertainment Weekly

In this modern romance, 24-year-old Amina Mazid moves from Bangladesh to New York after falling in love with an engineer over the Internet. The cultural adjustments that follow—and the truths revealed—drive this honest tale.

People Stylewatch

Perfectly pitched, piercingly funny, and exquisitely heartbreaking.

Donna Seaman Booklist (starred review)

A winning novel.

Sara Nelson The Oprah Magazine

A densely beautiful novel.

Louisa Kamps Elle

Freudenberger draws women's complex lives as brilliantly as Austen or Wharton or Woolf, and, with The Newlyweds, has given a performance of beauty and grace.

Andrew Sean Greer

Nell Freudenberger is a startlingly talented writer

Eleanor Barkhorn The Atlantic

A powerful sense of empathy, of being able to imagine what it is to be someone else, to feel what someone else feels; an effective writing style that avoids drawing attention to itself; and an international sensibility.

Moshin Hamid The New York Times Book Review

Freudenberger demonstrates her assurance as a novelist and her knowledge of the complicated arithmetic of familial love and the mathematics of romantic passion.

Michiko Kakutani The New York Times Book Review

Newlyweds is an unambiguous success

Meg Wolitzer More


S. Kirk Walsh The Boston Globe

[A] luscious and intelligent novel that will stick with you

Maureen Corrigan NPR

Freudenberger has...created an unforgettable character

Emily Witt Marie Claire

A modern-day variety of arranged marriage

Sam Sacks The Wall Street Journal

Quietly compelling

Megan O'Grady Vogue

A delight, one of the easiest book recommendations of the year. 

Ron Charles The Washington Post

A true triumph...Freudenberger's most successful book yet.

Michael Woodsmall The New York Observer

Fluid and utterly confident.

Allison Williams Time Out New York

The Newlyweds crosses continents, cultures and generations. . . . It’s funny, gracefully written and full of loneliness and yearning. It’s also a candid, recognizable story about love — the real-life kind, which is often hard and sustained by hope, kindness, and pure effort.

Carmela Ciuraru USA Today

Freudenberger does an especially lovely job

Agnes Torres Al-Shibibi The Seattle Times

Surprising . . . riveting.

Jane Ciabattari Los Angeles Times

"An engaging look at cultural transplantation...undeniably enjoyable and beautifully written."

Lucy Atkins The Sunday Times

An accomplished [...] piece of literary naturalism

Laura Miller The Guardian