By turns both dark and hilarious, DEAR FANG, WITH LOVE chronicles a bizarre Eastern European holiday taken by Vera - a ravishing, possibly psychotic, impossibly intelligent seventeen-year-old - and her estranged father, Lucas. From the acclaimed author of THE GIRLS FROM CORONA DEL MAR.
Lucas and Katya were boarding school seniors when, blindingly in love, they decided to have a baby. Seventeen years later, after a decade of absence, Lucas is a weekend dad, newly involved in his daughter Vera's life. But after Vera suffers a terrifying psychotic break at a high school party, Lucas takes her to Lithuania, his grandmother's homeland, for the summer.
Here, in the city of Vilnius, Lucas hopes to save Vera from the sorrow of her diagnosis. As he uncovers a secret about his grandmother, a Home Army rebel who escaped Stutthof, Vera searches for answers of her own. Why did Lucas abandon her as a baby? What really happened the night of her breakdown? And who can she trust with the truth?
Skillfully weaving family mythology and Lithuanian history with a story of mental illness, inheritance, young love, and adventure, Rufi Thorpe has written a breathtakingly intelligent, emotionally enthralling book.
Hauntingly beautiful . . . an enthralling narrative that has me desperate to keep turning the page - Robin Wasserman, author of Girls on Fire
While the themes of the book - mania, the Holocaust, and the devastating number of ways that any parent-child dynamic can go awry - are undeniably dark, Thorpe's prose is light, often hilarious, and unshakably grounded in the concrete details of daily life . . . Thorpe has written an absolute winner. - Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
DEAR FANG, WITH LOVE is a beautiful story about mental illness and love - PopSugar, '26 Books You Should Read This Spring'
Startling... [Vera] is so unapologetically appealing, someone you root for and see the struggle of the muscle under the skin... It's the language, writing, and characterization that spring the novel from a well-told-tale into one of the finest releases of 2016... Thorpe is a major talent, and reading her work will bring to mind other writers who deftly control their universes with such clarity and acuity, like Donna Tartt or Ann Patchett - Seattle Review of Books
Thorpe's voice, language, and attention to detail sucked me into the world she's created. Thorpe manages to tackle dark issues-estranged families, mental illness, and failed relationships-with a unique sense of humor and big-hearted empathy. - Electric Literature
A deeply-detailed, beautiful, often hilarious novel, DEAR FANG, WITH LOVE unflinchingly examines mental illness, the Holocaust, the power of family myths, and the relationships between generations. A captivating, compulsively readable and utterly original book - Huffington Post
Rufi Thorpe received her MFA from the University of Virginia in 2009. Her first novel, The Girls from Corona del Mar, was long listed for the 2014 International Dylan Thomas Prize and was a Waterstones Bookclub Pick. She lives in California with her husband and two sons, as well as a dog and a turtle.