THESE VIOLENT DELIGHTS

Micah Nemerever’s debut novel will be published by Harper Books in 2020.

Paul and Julian both believe that all they have is each other, and they’ll go to any lengths necessary to keep it that way.

It’s the early 1970s in Pittsburgh, and Stonewall might as well have happened on the other side of the world. So when Paul and Julian meet in their first year of university, it’s hard to explain the intensity of their connection to anyone around them. Paul is sensitive and agonizingly insecure, incomprehensible to his working class family, and desolate with rage and grief over his father’s recent suicide. Julian is volatile, magnetic, capriciously cruel, and eager to escape the suffocating influence of his wealthy D.C.-based parents. Paul sees Julian as his sole ally and intellectual equal, a vision of what it might mean to live with ease and confidence—but that admiration isn’t the same as trusting him.

As their friendship spirals into an identity-consuming romance, Paul is desperate to protect their precarious bond, even as it becomes clear that the pressure from the outside world is nothing compared to the brutalities they’re capable of inflicting on each other. Losing each other is out of the question, but when their tightening orbit brings them to an act of irrevocable violence, both Paul and Julian will be forced to confront a shattering truth at the heart of their relationship.

Feverish, tensely plotted, and surprisingly tender towards its characters, THESE VIOLENT DELIGHTS is a novel of escalating dread and an excavation of the unsettling depths of human desire.