Profoundly modern, deeply disturbed and darkly comic, The Pisces is about a heartbroken PhD student who over one summer falls in dangerous, ecstatic love with a mermanLucy has been writing her dissertation on Sappho for nine years when she and her boyfriend have a dramatic break up. After she hits rock bottom in Phoenix, her sister in Los Angeles insists Lucy dog-sit for the summer. Annika's home is a gorgeous glass cube on Venice Beach, but Lucy can find little relief from her anxiety - not in the Greek chorus of women in her love addiction therapy group, not in her frequent Tinder excursions, not even in Dominic the foxhound's easy affection. Everything changes when Lucy becomes entranced by an eerily attractive swimmer while sitting alone on the beach rocks one night. But when Lucy learns the truth about his identity, their relationship, and Lucy's understanding of what love should look like, take a very unexpected turn. A masterful blend of vivid realism and giddy fantasy, pairing hilarious frankness with pulse-racing eroticism, The Pisces is a story about falling in obsessive love with a merman: a figure of Sirenic fantasy whose very existence pushes Lucy to question everything she thought she knew about love, lust, and meaning in the one life we have.
Profoundly modern, deeply disturbed and darkly comic, The Pisces is about a heartbroken PhD student who over one summer falls in dangerous, ecstatic love with a merman
Starting with Sappho and ripping through the Los Angeles lovelorn, this exquisite story of romantic obsession deftly blends existential terror with sexy surrealism for a one-sitting absolute thrall. This book has my number so hard, I'm waiting for its midnight texts -- Amelia Gray, author of 'Isadora' The characters in The Pisces are so finely drawn and palpably real. These are some of the most real, relatable merman sex scenes I have ever read in any book -- Megan Amram, comedian and writer of Parks & Recreation, Silicon Valley and The Good Place Melissa Broder has officially written the modern myth: a hilarious, surreal tale of addiction and academia, depression and desire, mania and melancholy. Through the eyes of our merman-obsessed anti-heroine, we become attuned to both the poignancy and pointlessness of the human experience-from illusory ambition to unruly erotic fantasy. (Broder writes sex like no one else I've read.) The Pisces will have you LOL-ing while you're longing while you're cringing while you're philosophising-this is what it feels like to exist, and to attempt love, in the deluded torpor that is our time -- Molly Prentiss, author of 'Tuesday Nights in 1980' Fearless and perverted, full of desolation and of hope, The Pisces is a novel that delves head on into the many dark, absurd facets of human connection and coping in search of meaning and comes back bearing fantastic flashes of a twisted rom-com surreality only Melissa Broder's gemstone-studded brain could conjure up -- Blake Butler, author of 'There Is No Year' Fearless writing, merrily mixing Sappho and bikini waxes, Greek myths and self-help, and with the most brutally honest sex scenes I've read in a long time -- Kerry Andrew, composer and author of 'Swansong' It's hot, it's fantastical, and it's snort-inducingly funny. I can't get enough of this book * Whimn * I've long been a Melissa Broder fan but I had no idea a fabulist novelist lived in her too. I've never quite read anything like the surreal merman romantic comedy that is The Pisces! Broder has always been a simultaneously out-of-this-world & very-much-in-this-world poet/comic, so it's a wild delight to watch her transition to modern-day mythologist. Sappho and Tinder, mermaid porn and nervous breakdowns, the banal and the bananas gloriously litter this uncanny marvel that is pretty impossible to put down -- Porochista Khakpour, author of 'Sick: A Memoir' and the novels 'The Last Illusion' and 'Sons & Other Flammable Objects' Funny and dark, vicious and tender, The Pisces is a sexy and moving portrait of a woman longing for connection and pleasure in our strange and alienating world. I can't stop thinking about it -- Edan Lepucki, author of Woman No. 17 Bold, virtuosic, addictive, erotic - there is nothing like The Pisces. Between a broken-up Sappho academic and a Venice-beach merman, Melissa Broder miraculously captures everything absurd and pure about falling in love. I have no idea how Broder does it, but I loved every dark and sublime page of it -- Stephanie Danler, author of Bittersweet The Pisces has everything - devastating honesty about love, intimacy and loneliness, tonally perfect writing, propulsive plotting, laugh out loud hilarity, and genuinely hot sex with a merman -- Emily Gould, author of `Friendship' No one writes about love like Melissa Broder, who captures the feverish obsession with both the lover and the self in hilarious, mesmerizing detail. I scarfed The Pisces in handfuls, surprised and delighted by every inventive detail and compelled by the lucid insights and chillingly familiar compulsions of the narrator. This is a book for every smart person who has made very bad decisions, who thought love might save them from themselves, who has been hypnotized by pleasure and become willing to give up everything for just one more taste -- Melissa Febos, author of 'Whip Smart' and 'Abandon Me' The Venice Beach of The Pisces is familiar at first, but it quickly transforms into a new place in which fantasy can become reality overnight. I love how Melissa Broder navigates the anticipation of lust, the consequences of love, the lure of self-destruction, and the indecision between what seems right and what seems crazy. This book is for anyone that's wondered where their longing will take them next -- Chelsea Hodson, author of 'Tonight I'm Someone Else' Melissa Broder lays herself bare but she does so with strength, savvy, and style. Above all, these essays are sad and uncomfortable and their own kind of gorgeous. They reveal so much about what it is to live in this world, right now -- Praise for 'So Sad Today', Roxane Gay If Melissa Broder weren't so fucking funny I would have wept through this entire book. Love, sex, addiction, mental illness and childhood trauma all join hands and dance in a circle, to the tune of Melissa's unmatched wit and dementedly perfect take on this terrifying orb we call home -- Praise for 'So Sad Today', Lena Dunham A triumph of unsettlingly relatable prose -- Praise for 'So Sad Today' * Vanity Fair * Her writing is deeply personal, sophisticated in its wit, and at the same time, devastating ... A portrait of modern day existence told with provocative, irreverent honesty -- Praise for 'So Sad Today' * Nylon * What separates Broder from her confessional cohort, as "filthy" (her word) as her pieces are, is that she doesn't seem to be out to shock, but to survive -- Praise for 'So Sad Today' * Elle *
Melissa Broder is the author of the essay collection So Sad Today and four poetry collections, including Last Sext. She is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize for poetry, and her poems have appeared in Poetry, The Iowa Review, Tin House, Guernica, Fence, The Missouri Review, and others. She writes the 'So Sad Today' column at Vice, the astrology column for Lena Dunham's Lenny Letter, and the 'Beauty and Death' column on Elle.com. She lives in Los Angeles.
melissabroder.com / @melissabroder / @sosadtoday