Visible City (Paperback)
“A glittering novel about fate, fantasy, and the anonymity of urban life.” —O, The Oprah Magazine
“Read Visible City. Tova Mirvis’s graceful yet vigorous New York novel is about the half-inadvertent window-peeping that city life enables, and where it can lead.” —New York Magazine
After chaotic days of wrangling and soothing her young children, Nina spends her evenings spying on the quiet, contented older couple across the street. But one night, through her same window, she spies a young couple in the throes of passion. Who are these people, and what happened to her symbol of domestic happiness? Soon, Nina crosses paths with both couples on the streets of her Upper West Side neighborhood and, as anonymity gives way to different forms of intimacy, all begin to confront their own desires and disappointments. Shrewdly and artfully, Mirvis explores the boundaries between our own lives and the lives of others. From its lavish ghost subway stations to its hidden stained-glass windows, Visible City conjures a New York City teeming with buried treasures.
“An utterly perfect, deeply moving evocation of contemporary Manhattan [that] reminded me of Paula Fox and Laurie Colwin, and also those master chroniclers of the privileged classes, Wharton and Fitzgerald . . . Brilliant.” —Joanna Smith Rakoff, Salon.com
“Mirvis’s meticulously choreographed novel surprises and moves us.” —New York Times Book Review
TOVA MIRVIS is the author of three novels: Visible City, The Outside World, and The Ladies Auxiliary, a national bestseller. Her essays have appeared in various publications, including the New York Times, the Boston Globe Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Poets and Writers, and her fiction has been broadcast on NPR. She lives in Newton, Massachusetts.
"In a glittering novel about fate, fantasy, and the anonymity of urban life, a lonely New York City woman uses her son’s toy binoculars to spy on couples whose intimacy she craves." - O, The Oprah Magazine "Dark, witty...[This] comedy about deceptive appearances evolves into a moving examination of intimacy’s limitations." — Kirkus "Mirvis focuses her artful prose on the inner lives of modern women and those they love as they face the possibilities of change." - Booklist "Mirvis (The Ladies Auxiliary) writes an intimate story about different types of relationships, including those with complete strangers...In this story of chance and the temptation of change, Mirvis elicits the reader’s sympathy for her characters’ conflicting desires." —Publishers Weekly "Such is Mirvis's finesse and insight that she leaves the reader completely sympathetic with each character's dilemmas…Visible City is a beautifully rendered novel that takes on art, parenting, betrayal and the nature of love.” —Shelf Awareness "Charming...readers’ curiosity will be piqued." — BookPage “With artful tenderness and elegant compassion, Tova Mirvis strips her upscale Manhattanites down to their naked loneliness and longings. Her novel is as jewel-like as a stained glass window. Mirvis supplies the light, and the result is dazzling.”—Rebecca Goldstein, MacArthur award-winning author of 36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction “A fascinating maze of a novel, following the intersecting lives of two New York families as they come together and fall apart. Gorgeously written and enormously wise on the subjects of art, ambition, parenting, betrayal, and what it means to take care of the ones you love.” —Lauren Grodstein, author of A Friend of the Family “Here the hidden is made stunningly visible. One by one, facades are stripped away and the luminous interiors of strangers' lives begin to emerge: in the view-field of a sleepless woman's binoculars, in the flashlight beams of subterranean urban explorers, in the radiance filtering through a long-lost stained glass window, and, always, in the light of Tova Mirvis's kaleidoscopic, tender vision. Visible City illuminates the hearts of both its characters and its readers.”—Rachel Kadish, author of Tolstoy Lied: A Love Story “Visible City reminds us how strangers become intimates and intimates grow estranged. Mirvis writes with passion and unflinching honesty about the small grievances that accumulate until we no longer know the people we love.”—Joshua Henkin, author of The World Without You Praise for the work of Tova Mirvis: “Full of verve and chutzpah.”
—New York Times Book Review “Poignant, funny, sophisticated.”