No One Is Talking About This

No One Is Talking About This

By Patricia Lockwood
224 pages
February 2021

I really admire and love this book. Patricia Lockwood is a completely singular talent and this is her best, funniest, weirdest, most affecting work yet." --Sally Rooney

"A furiously original novel." --Jia Tolentino

From "a formidably gifted writer" (The New York Times Book Review), a book that asks: Is there life after the internet?

As this urgent, genre-defying book opens, a woman who has recently been elevated to prominence for her social media posts travels around the world to meet her adoring fans. She is overwhelmed by navigating the new language and etiquette of what she terms "the portal," where she grapples with an unshakable conviction that a vast chorus of voices is now dictating her thoughts. When existential threats--from climate change and economic precariousness to the rise of an unnamed dictator and an epidemic of loneliness--begin to loom, she posts her way deeper into the portal's void. An avalanche of images, details, and references accumulate to form a landscape that is post-sense, post-irony, post-everything. "Are we in hell?" the people of the portal ask themselves. "Are we all just going to keep doing this until we die?"

Suddenly, two texts from her mother pierce the fray: "Something has gone wrong," and "How soon can you get here?" As real life and its stakes collide with the increasingly absurd antics of the portal, the woman confronts a world that seems to contain both an abundance of proof that there is goodness, empathy, and justice in the universe, and a deluge of evidence to the contrary.

Fragmentary and omniscient, incisive and sincere, No One Is Talking About This is at once a love letter to the endless scroll and a profound, modern meditation on love, language, and human connection from a singular voice in American literature.

“One of the most incisive observers of the spectacle of digital discourse . . . Lockwood is a sharp and often funny social critic. She writes wisely of the emotionally labile landscape of the internet . . . many of her images are evocative and often beautiful . . . More inventive than lapidary, Ms. Lockwood’s style is artful without being precious . . . What begins as an ironical story about irony becomes an intimate and moving portrait of love and grief. In this way, a novel that had been toying with the digital surface of modern life finds the tender heart pumping away beneath it all.” —Emily Bobrow, The Wall Street Journal

“[Lockwood is] a master of startling concision when highlighting the absurdities we’ve grown too lazy to notice . . . It’s a vertiginous experience, gorgeously rendered but utterly devastating. I rattled around the house for days afterwards, shattered but grateful for the reminder that the ephemeral world we’ve constructed online is a shadow compared to the pain and affection we’re blessed to experience in real life.” —Ron Charles, The Washington Post

“[No One Is Talking About This] it is an arch descendant of Austen’s socio-literary style . . . [Lockwood] writes brilliantly and bitingly—the temptation is just to keep on quoting her.” —Clair Wills, The New York Review of Books

“Explores the kind of tumult and grief that almost defies language as well as the frightening uniformity of the online herds.” The New York Times

“A fast and furious debut novel about being embedded deep in the digital world.” —The Guardian