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Michael Frank: What is Missing
December 4, 2019 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pmFree
Michael Frank discusses his new novel What Is Missing with Lindsey Crittenden.
Praise for What Is Missing
“Michael Frank’s masterful and psychologically acute first novel—which leads us with equal confidence through the light-saturated streets of Florence and the hushed and polished halls of Upper East Side New York—asks the most urgent questions about biology and nurture, about filial and parental love, and about what we’re willing to suffer to find out who we are. This is a wise and necessary book, one I’ve been recommending ardently to everyone I know. ” —Julie Orringer, author of The Flight Portfolio
“This sophisticated erotic triangle of a novel is by turns sensuous and harrowing, driven by a point of view roulette masterfully played. For a reader unfamiliar with the experience of assisted reproduction, Michael Frank’s novel is an eye-opener. The ethics-testing extremes here left me thinking about the dire need to balance power between women and men long after I sped to the last page.” —Rachel Howard, author of The Risk of Us
“The novel is filled with trenchant moments of sweetness and betrayal, as well as a stunning reveal of the harrowing gauntlet infertile women go through to conceive. This is an intricate and dynamic examination of familial ties: both what strengthens them and what can tear them apart.” — Publisher’s Weekly
About What Is Missing
Costanza Ansaldo, a half-Italian and half-American translator, is convinced that she has made peace with her childlessness. A year after the death of her husband, an eminent writer, she returns to the pensione in Florence where she spent many happy times in her youth, and there she meets, first, Andrew Weissman, an acutely sensitive seventeen-year-old, and, soon afterward, his father, Henry Weissman, a charismatic New York physician who specializes in—as it happens—reproductive medicine.
With three lives each marked by heartbreak and absence—of a child, a parent, a partner, or a clear sense of identity—What is Missing offers Costanza, Andrew, and Henry the opportunity to make themselves whole when the triangle resumes three months later in New York, where the relationships among them turn and tighten with combustive effects that cut to the core of what it means to be a father, a son, and—for Costanza—a potential mother.