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The Celebrants (Hardcover)
Not Yet Published
A Big Chill for our times, celebrating decades-long friendships and promises—especially to ourselves—by the bestselling and celebrated author of The Guncle.
It’s been a minute—or five years—since Jordan Vargas last saw his college friends, and twenty-eight years since their graduation when their adult lives officially began. Now Jordan, Jordy, Naomi, Craig, and Marielle find themselves at the brink of a new decade, with all the responsibilities of adulthood, yet no closer to having their lives figured out. That’s not for a lack of trying. Over the years they’ve reunited in Big Sur to honor a decades-old pact to throw each other living “funerals,” celebrations to remind themselves that life is worth living—and living well.
But this reunion is different. They’re not gathered as they were to bolster Marielle as her marriage crumbled, to lift Naomi after her parents died, or to intervene when Craig pleaded guilty to art fraud. This time, Jordan is sitting on a secret that will upend their pact.
A deeply honest tribute to the growing pains of selfhood and the people who keep us going, coupled with Steven Rowley’s signature humor and heart, The Celebrants is a moving tale about the false invincibility of youth, and the beautiful ways in which friendship helps us celebrate our lives, even amid the deepest challenges of living.
About the Author
Steven Rowley is the bestselling author of four novels including Lily and the Octopus, a Washington Post Notable Book of 2016; The Editor, an NPR Best Book of 2019; and The Guncle, semifinalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor and Goodreads finalist for Novel of the Year. His fiction has been translated in twenty languages. He resides in Palm Springs, California.
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“Rowley’s novels deftly oscillate between tear-jerker and knee-slapper, books that brim with all of life’s big and small emotions, and his latest is no exception. It might just be his best yet.” —Electric Lit
"Rowley once again displays his talent at balancing humor and heart in surprising ways.” —Buzzfeed
"Steven Rowley is an auto-buy, and his latest novel, The Celebrants, is a testament to his trademark humor and grace. A thoughtful, heartbreaking, funny novel about love, marriage, grief, and friendship." —Laura Dave, author of The Last Thing He Told Me
"The Celebrants made me laugh and cry...and make some overdue phone calls to old friends. A timely examination of why connections matter and a powerful ode to friendship. We should all have such a pact." —Shelby Van Pelt, author of Remarkably Bright Creatures
"What can stave off the fear of death, or rescue you from one of life's less fatal heartbreaks? Steven Rowley, ever warm and witty, offers up lifelong friendship, and I am inclined to believe him." —Emma Straub, author of All Adults Here and This Time Tomorrow
"A tender, funny, bittersweet exploration of friendship, family, joy, grief, and what it means to be alive. I loved everything about it.” —Allison Winn Scotch, author of The Rewind