Ticknor, the highly anticipated first novel by the author of the acclaimed story collection The Middle Stories, is a brilliantly nuanced tale about friendship, envy, and solitude.
In Heti's novel, George Ticknor is trying to reconcile his own failure with the success of his boyhood friend, the famous American historian William Prescott.
George Ticknor's life has been reduced to a series of awkward meetings, failed dinner parties, and other misfortunes he is loath to own up to. Situated in the complicated and contradictory moments that make friendships both tenuous and difficult to relinquish, Ticknor's fixated thoughts about his and Prescott's dissimilar fates lead him through a litany of rationalizations and recriminations, a psychological maze that is paranoid and harrowing as well as ludicrous and absurd. In George Ticknor, Sheila Heti has created a memorable new hero of Prufrockian dimension. Ticknor is an exquisite singularity.