July 02, 2021
Available from Farrar, Straus, & Giroux
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“Embassy Wife is such a swift and delicious novel that a reader can be forgiven for looking up halfway through the book with the slow-dawning realization that all along, underneath this mordant farce, Katie Crouch had some sharp, urgent and intricate things to say about colonization and race, privilege and power, and the often explosive intersection of all of these things in today’s Namibia. It is a fascinating novel, and beautifully told.” —Lauren Groff, author of Florida
“A wickedly irresistible novel.”– Natalie Baszile, author of Queen Sugar
In Katie Crouch’s thrilling novel Embassy Wife, two women abroad search for the truth about their husbands—and their country.
Meet Persephone Wilder, a displaced genius posing as the wife of an American diplomat in Namibia. Persephone takes her job as a representative of her country seriously, coming up with an intricate set of rules to survive the problems she encounters: how to dress in hundred-degree weather without showing too much skin, how not to look drunk at embassy functions, and how to eat roasted oryx with grace. She also suspects her husband is not actually the ambassador’s legal counsel, but a secret agent in the CIA. The consummate embassy wife, she takes the newest trailing spouse, Amanda Evans, under her wing.
Amanda arrives in Namibia mere weeks after giving up her Silicon Valley job so her husband, Mark, could have his family close as he works on his Fulbright project. But once they’re settled in the sub-Saharan desert, Amanda sees clearly that Mark, who lived in Namibia two decades earlier, had other reasons for returning. Their marriage seemed solid in the safety of their old home, but feels tenuous in the glaring heat of the Kalahari. And then Amanda’s daughter becomes involved in an actual international conflict and their own government won’t stand up for her.
How far will Amanda go to keep her family intact? How much corruption can Persephone ignore? And what, exactly, does it mean to be an American abroad when you’re not sure you understand your country anymore? Propulsive and provocative, Embassy Wife asks what it means to be a human in this world, even as it helps us laugh in the face of our own absurd, seemingly impossible states of affairs.
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