Adam Haslett

Books Amanda Urban, +1 212 556 5600 Email Amanda Urban

Imagine Me Gone

book | Fiction | May 2016
US & Canada → Little, Brown & Company (Ed. Ben George)
UK & Comm → Hamish Hamilton (Ed. Simon Prosser)

IMAGINE ME GONE has been included in the LA Times’ “5 new books not to be missed" list and in Vanity Fair's "Hot Types"

Indie Next Pick for May 2016

From a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist, a story of a family facing the ultimate question: how far will we go for those we love the most?

When Margaret's fiancé, John, is hospitalized for depression, she faces a choice: carry on with their plans, or back away from the suffering it may bring her. She decides to marry him. Imagine Me Gone is the unforgettable story of what unfolds from this act of love and faith. At the heart of it is their eldest son, Michael, a brilliant, anxious music fanatic, and the story of how, over the span of decades, his younger siblings—the responsible Celia and the tightly controlled Alec—struggle along with their mother to care for Michael's increasingly troubled existence. Adam Haslett has given us something rare: a novel with the power to change how you see the most important people in your life.

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Sophie Baker manages the translation rights for Imagine Me Gone

Audio Rights

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The audio rights are handled by Alice Lutyens.

Translation Rights Sold

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Zenon Yayinlari
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Imagine Me Gone
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Reviews

Imagine Me Gone is literature of the highest order. It manages to be both dreadfully sad and hilariously funny all at once. It is luminous with love.

Peter Carey

Adam Haslett's second novel is about family, love, forgotten music, and a despair that proves unbearable, and has one of the most harrowing and sustained descriptions of a mind in obsessive turmoil and disrepair that I've ever read. Haslett is a marvelously lucid and intelligent writer.


Joy Williams

Imagine Me Gone is an extraordinary work of art. The family Adam Haslett has created feels as true and as complex as our own actual families are, and lays nearly as deep a claim upon our love and loyalty. The eldest son, Michael, is simply one of the finest characters I’ve ever come across in fiction. This beautiful, tragic novel will haunt you for the rest of your life and you will be all the more human for it.

Paul Harding, Pulitzer Prize winner for 'Tinkers'

Imagine Me Gone is a beautiful, elegant, harrowing story concerning the dissonant music of family. Adam Haslett stamps his world with a poignant literary seal. His insight is as lively and as inventive as his language. In his hands the old stories become new. Haslett makes me eager, once again, for the complications of the world.

Colum McCann

It's beautiful, it's terrifying, it's intimate and epic, and it's devastating, one of the great books about loss and mourning and the ineluctable laws that govern the political economy of families... I can't describe the force or the depth of this accomplishment, this magnificent work of art which has overwhelmed me and broken my heart and which I know will take me a long time to come to terms with. 

Tony Kushner

This is a book that tenderly and luminously deals with mental illness and with the life of the mind. (...) This is a hypnotic and haunting novel.

Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Full Review

[A] touching chronicle... Haslett shapes [the] characters with such sympathy, detail, and skill that reading about them is akin to living among them. As vivid and moving as the novel is, it's not because Haslett strives to surprise but because he's so mindful and expressive of how much precious life there is in both normalcy and anguish. 

Kirkus (starred review)
Full Review

Adam Haslett’s ambitious and stirring second novel, owns up to the complexity — and consequence — of what can and cannot be inherited... Haslett has reached another level, affording readers a full and luminous depiction of the mind under siege... this is a book refreshingly replete with surprise. It sneaks up on you with dark and winning humor, poignant tenderness and sentences so astute that they lift the spirit even when they’re awfully, awfully sad. 

Bret Anthony Johnston
New York Times

In this moving novel, Haslett explores how the profound depression of one person reverberates through an entire family. This beautiful, tragic, engrossing depiction of a web of emotional fault lines should win Haslett, a Pulitzer Prize finalist for his early story collection "You Are Not a Stranger Here" and an ever wider readership for his Lambda Literary Award-winning novel "Union Atlantic," an even wider readership.

LA Times

The novel brilliantly captures the excruciating burden of love and the role it plays in both our survival and our destruction. Haslett suspends a sense of dread over you like an anvil from page one, cutting the rope that holds it in the brutal last act. You'd be a fool to look away.

Julia Black
Esquire
Full Review

Haslett's second novel is a potent tale of love and loss. 

Jane Ciabattari
BBC
Full Review

Mr. Haslett is one of the country’s most talented writers, equipped with a sixth sense for characterization and a limber, unpretentious style. Perhaps his rarest gift is the apprehension of the invisible connections that tie people together.

Sam Sacks
Wall Street Journal

Imagine Me Gone respects the mystery of how things happen the way they happen, while brilliantly conjuring the tide-like pull with which dreaded possibilities become harsh inevitability.

Michael Upchurch
Boston Globe

A devastating family drama . . . Haslett’s considerable skills as a writer turn domestic conflicts into something more profound . . . In one beautifully rendered scene after another, Haslett shows the family dealing with John’s illness and Michael’s descent while also managing their own conflicts . . . Imagine Me Gone is a handsome work . . . the sort of writing that is guaranteed to turn heads.

Michael Magras
Miami Herald

Searing . . . Devastating and gorgeously written . . . Pure genius . . .  By signing on with Haslett and his characters we are given the chance to look beyond our minutiae and daily distractions in order to notice the passage of time as experienced by others. We are reminded of what it is like to be truly, if fleetingly, alive.

Alexis Burling
San Francisco Chronicles

Haslett’s writing is at its best when he illuminates not just madness but what it means to witness it, too.

Entertainment Weekly

An ambitious book about music, anxiety, and a family determined to stick together after fracturing loss, Imagine Me Gone is proof that realistic stories have immense power.

Maddie Crum
The Huffington Post

While it may not seem like a beach read, Cass said this heartbreaking book has an engrossing storyline with memorable characters that will draw you in wherever you are. “It’s about mental illness at the center of this family,” she said. “And they all go off and do their own things and are in their own places, but it’s always at the center and it’s always connecting them. It’s really just a very beautiful book."

Rachel Cass
Boston.com

Once Haslett has you, you're along for the ride with Margaret, John, Michael, Celia and Alec: as absorbed by - and powerless over - their fate as they are. 

Newark Sunday Star Ledger

Exceptional storytelling and poignant insights.

USA Today

Beautiful... a captivating portrait of the ways depression and anxiety mark both the afflicted and everyone who loves them... Haslett understands the power of sentiment to move without ever becoming maudlin or arch, leading us down a dark path at the end of which a light of hope still burns.

Patrick Flanery
Spectator

Imagine Me Gone is a family saga reminiscent at times of Anne Enright’s The Green Road. It is raw, tender and hilarious. In the writing of Michael, the Pulitzer Prize-shortlisted Haslett lets rip to dazzling effect: a family therapy session, related by Michael in the form of an Army incident report, is a showstopper. But the voices of the novel’s other narrators are equally involving, and the psychological insight piercing. True, the emotional demands are considerable. But the investment more than pays off.

Stephanie Cross
The Daily Mail
Full Review

It’s in Michael’s storytelling about himself and his family that Haslett has created a distinctive and winning voice and character that transforms what might have otherwise been just-another-accomplished-literary-novel about an American family’s tragicomic goings on into something far more affecting and beguiling.

Randy Boyagoda
Financial Times

An intense celebration of art, language and life... Haslett has a great gift for capturing the strikingly different inner worlds of his characters and rendering them in beautiful prose. As in Faulkner, each of the voices emerges from somewhere between speech, thought and writing, but here the characters are articulate enough that we can believe that the words are theirs. 

Lara Feigel
The Guardian

With skill and subtlety… Imagine Me Gone sweeps the reader into its characters’ worlds and makes us reflect on our own lives. It might be the best American novel about a middle-class family since Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections.

Max Lui
The Independent

Haslett’s second novel depicts, with candor and tenderness, a family’s struggle with the effects of mental illness. 

New Yorker

Profoundly moving… I have read tens of books on this subject, and written one myself, and I can’t think of anything I have ever read that captures that feeling: the loneliness, the frustration, the compassion and the fight between wanting to help and wanting to run away. Despite all this, it is not depressing because it is so well written. I’ve bought it for five people already. It is a Great American Novel.

Sathnam Sanghera
BBC R4 Saturday Review

A smart, subtle take on a family story — and it even manages to be humorous, too. What sets it apart from other fictional accounts of mental illness are its moments of insight into the impact it has on those around the sufferer.

Fiona Wilson
The Times

[A] skilfully written and harrowing tale

Kerryn Goldsworthy
Sydney Morning Herald

Remarkable… Imagine Me Gone is as much concerned with the effects of mental illness on the families of those suffering as it is with the sufferers themselves.

Sunday Telegraph