Jennifer duBois
  • st.petersburg
  • laboca
a partial history of lost causes

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Reviews & Press

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BookPage Best Books of 2012

O Magazine Best Books of 2012

Reviews for A Partial History of Lost Causes:

“Finding a new writer whose work I love reassures me that the end of storytelling is nowhere near…I can’t remember reading another novel—at least not recently—that’s both incredibly intelligent and emotionally engaging.”
Nancy Pearl, NPR

“Tender but sharp-edged…Irina’s voice possesses a grim humor and quiet determination that is nothing short of charismatic.”
The Daily Beast

"Astonishingly beautiful and brainy... Strikingly original... Stunning."
O Magazine

"…Precise and unsentimental…Spinning an ambitious plot, unpredictable but never improbable, [duBois] moves with a magician’s control between points of view, continents, histories, and sympathies."
The New Yorker

"[A Partial History of Lost Causes] is an ambitious and remarkably assured work…That its characters remain humane, funny, and relatable throughout a thorny tale of Eastern bloc politics is a tribute to the author’s exciting, formidable talent."
TimeOut New York

"…A psychological thriller of great nuance and complexity…"
The Dallas Morning News

"…A tight story with boldface themes."
The New York Times Book Review

"Original and sweeping…"
Campus Circle

"A Partial History of Lost Causes is a deeply thoughtful novel, a pensive, multilayered look at a culture in transition and the lives of the two complex, memorable characters at its core."

“[A] mesmerizing debut…A Partial History of Lost Causes is a tour de force…”

"...Gorgeous...DuBois writes with haunting richness and fierce intelligence. She has an equal grasp of politics and history, the emotional nuances of her complex characters, and the intricacies of chess...A Partial History of Lost Causes is a thrilling debut by a young writer who evidently shares the uncanny brilliance of her protagonists."

"[A] terrific debut."
Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review

"A Partial History of Lost Causes seems to assert that everything we strive for in life is likely to be, ultimately, a lost cause. But then why is the book so beautiful, so hopeful, so full of life? The beauty, hope, and vitality are all conveyed in the telling of this gorgeous story, rather than in the outcome. Such an important book coming from such a young writer should give us all hope in the glorious lost cause of American fiction."
—David Mallmann at Next Chapter Bookshop in Mequon, WI

"Whoever it was that coined the phrase ‘the political is personal’ would have enjoyed Jennifer duBois’ debut novel, A Partial History of Lost Causes. It is both personal and political, as well as hilarious and heartbreaking, winsome and wise…It is the story of last ditch efforts and Hail Mary passes; it is the story of how we struggle to survive and hold on to hope. It is a brilliant and beautiful piece of fiction."
—Kester Smith at BookPeople in Austin, TX

"A Partial History of Lost Causes is probably the best fiction work I have read all year…DuBois has the ability to describe everyday thoughts and emotions in a way that left me breathless. I needed to reread sentences again and again because I was so taken with her prose…I look forward to read more of her work."
—Erin Grabarczyk at Joseph Beth Booksellers in Lexington, KY

"This novel reads like a classic. DuBois has a natural storyteller's ability. Moving back and forth between the lives of Irina and Aleksandr, she weaves a tight novel rich with complex characters and story lines you watch merge with a satisfying sense of inevitability."
—Julie Wernersbach, BookPeople, Austin, TX