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Denise and Nik grew up in the ‘70s LA music scene. Nik—handsome and gifted, with a knack for songwriting—was a star on the rise. Denise, his sister, was his biggest fan.
Now, fleeting success long behind him, Nik makes his art in isolation, painstakingly documenting his own work. Denise is his most devoted audience—sometimes his only audience.
Then her daughter, Ada, decides to make a film revealing Nik’s underground career.
Stone Arabia is a novel about family and memory, celebrity and obsession. It’s about the urge to create, and the search for authenticity.
‘Added to the brilliant glitter of Ms. Spiotta’s earlier work — so reminiscent, at times, of early Don DeLillo and early Joan Didion — is something deeper and sadder: not just alienation, but a hard-won awareness of mortality and passing time… both a clever meditation on the feedback loop between life and art, and a moving portrait of a brother and sister, whose wild youth on the margins of the rock scene has given way to the disillusionments and vexations of middle age.’
“Is there a more electrifying novelist working than Dana Spiotta?…[Stone Arabia] makes for a sharp character study: A portrait of the artist as middle-aged never-was. Yet Spiotta’s genius is to recognize that Nik’s journey is representative not just for his sister or his mother but for every one of us.”
“Stone Arabia is a rock n’ roll novel like no other. Where desire for legacy tangles with fantasy. And identity and memory are in and out of control. A loser’s game of conceit, deceit, passion, love and the raw mystery of superstar desire.”
“With her novel’s clever structure, jaundiced affection for Los Angeles,and diamond-honed prose, Spiotta (National Book Award finalist for Eat the Document) delivers one of themost moving and original portraits of a sibling relationship in recent fiction.”
‘…amazingly well written, rich, funny, learned, linguistically sturdy, and tonally fresh.’
‘This book is about so many things, it’s almost impossible to say how they all fit together: family, identity, authenticity, art. It’s a dizzyingly rich read that would reward rereading, maybe more than once.’
‘Spiotta’s third novel manages the neat trick of conveying the thrill of celebrity and self-expression canvassed in lesser rock fiction in the past and building it into a dark, funny meditation on family and memory. The result is a nuanced effortlessly engaging novel…highly recommended.’