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Piece of Mind

A Novel

Michelle Adelman (Author)


Told with warmth and intelligence, Piece of Mind introduces one of the most endearing and heroic characters in contemporary fiction.

At twenty-seven, Lucy knows everything about coffee, comic books, and Gus (the polar bear at the Central Park Zoo), and she possesses a rare gift for drawing. But since she suffered a traumatic brain injury at the age of three, she has had trouble relating to most people. She’s also uncommonly messy, woefully disorganized, and incapable of holding down a regular job. When unexpected circumstances force her out of the comfortable and protective Jewish home where she was raised and into a cramped studio apartment in New York City with her college-age younger brother, she must adapt to an entirely different life—one with no safety net. Over the course of a challenging summer, Lucy is forced to discover that she has more strengths than she herself knew.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • March 2017
  • ISBN 978-0-393-35355-6
  • 5.6 × 8.3 in / 320 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide including Canada, Singapore and Malaysia, but excluding the British Commonwealth.

Endorsements & Reviews

“With simplicity and humor, her story testifies to the fierce, universal human need for self-expression.” — People Magazine

“As much about the bond between siblings as about traumatic brain injury.” — Boston Globe

“, honest and funny.” — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“A delightful page-turner packed full of warmth, humor, and bubbling, sparkling joy.” — National Book Review

“Adelman beautifully conveys Lucy’s idiosyncratic voice and outlook on the world, including her blunt observations on the people she meets…She resists pat, too-easy endings, and instead focuses on realistically depicting Lucy’s strengths and weaknesses, humor, failings and tentative steps toward believing in her own capabilities.” —

“A moving story of grief, resilience, and self-actualization…Adelman fully inhabits Lucy’s voice, and the resulting tale is as realistic as it is uplifting.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Lucy’s narrative is sensitive, witty, and illuminating…excellently draw. Her journey and the evolution of her relationships offer a rare glance at the unknowable.” — Library Journal (starred review)

Piece of Mind is such a beautiful debut, one that will indelibly imprint the reader with Lucy’s unique voice and vision. She channels the raw states of grief and joy and bewilderment with such a pure-hearted intensity. Her New York is a flickery frontier, exciting and scary, where she toggles between states of numbness and excruciating sensitivity. Michelle Adelman is so articulate about what we know and cannot say, what we can barely stand to know, and what we bravely face each day as individuals in families, together and alone.” — Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia!

Piece of Mind is compulsively readable, built around a set of relatable, engaging characters and a compelling central problem for its protagonist.” — Liz Moore, author of Heft

“From the first page of Piece of Mind, I fell in love with Lucy, its quirky, brave, funny heroine. And that feeling grew as she navigates her changing, often confusing, world. Michelle Adelman has created an unforgettable character and an unforgettable story.” — Ann Hood, author of An Italian Wife and The Knitting Circle

Piece of Mind is animated by sense and innocence. Michelle Adelman has written a truly charming novel full of humor and warmth. Sex and drugs and polar bears abound.” — Cathleen Schine, author of Fin and Lady and The Three Weissmanns of Westport

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