Miriam comes from a German-flavored utopian commune where dating is forbidden and the Sewing Sisters decide who can wear what kind of ugly plaid. Is beauty a sin? Is oddity? Will she ever get married? A pulsing literary debut about a woman born into an anabaptist community, whose life we follow from childhood to middle age.
by Kate Riley
Riverhead, Fall 2024
(via Sterling Lord Literistic)
Kate Riley wrote MIRIAM about eight years ago as a series of micro-dispatches (on an iPod Touch) to her heroically patient, encouraging friend, Molly Young (also The New York Times book critic), who helped her wrestle it into its sublime final shape. Molly has been intending to publish it in an edition of a few hundred lovingly designed copies, to be circulated by supportive, awed friends among would-be enthusiasts, one whom catchily volunteered to send an early blurb:
“The Biblical Books of Ruth and Esther have found their American sister-wife in Miriam, the serenely weird testament of an unintentional heroine in an intentional community, and an act of novelistic grace that deserves more than cult status, but its own goddamned religion.” —Joshua Cohen, The Netanyahus, 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
This said rare edition is now available, and Riverhead will publish their hardcover edition Fall 2024. A selection of the novel has also appeared in n+1 in 2017 and another excerpt is featured in the last issue of The Paris Review.
Kate Riley was born in New York City and now lives in rural Virginia on a farm with her husband.