Shark Heart
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About the Author

Emily Habeck is an alumna of SMU's Meadows School of the Arts, where she received a BFA in theatre, as well as Vanderbilt Divinity School and Vanderbilt's Peabody College. She is from Ardmore, Oklahoma. Shark Heart is her first novel.

Reviews

Compelling, moving, lyrical
*Claire North, author of ITHACA*

Shark Heart is a fantastical, original, and beautifully-written novel of abandonment, love, and Ovidian transformation. It explores illness, caretaking, devotion, magical thinking, and loss - and of course great white sharks - in ways that are funny, sad, and surprising. Every page bursts with heart
*Anthony Doerr, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE*

In Shark Heart, Emily Habeck doesn't shy away from the agony of goodbyes, or the torture that can accompany unexpected freedom. With an otherworldly tenderness, she reminds us that life will always demand that we give over to its momentum and adapt. The fact that these lessons are thrilling, hilarious, and effortless to read are the miracle of the book. I suspect I will ponder this book over and over; so rich with fantasy yet as frank and real as anything I've ever read
*Mary Louise Parker, author of DEAR MR. YOU*

Shark Heart is one of those rare books that reaches right into you and reflects lived experience so exactly, and so poetically, that it feels like you're being seen. It wears its heart openly and unapologetically on its sleeve. Equal parts tenderly comedic and tragic, the book was a difficult one to read, but I'm so glad I did
*Marianne Gordon, author of THE GILDED CROWN*

It's quite a feat to weave such a wild speculative element into a story that feels fundamentally relatable, resonant, human. Yes, Shark Heart is the kind of delightfully original story I adore, and the sort of book I'll be pressing into the hands of friends with a vigorous nod. Yes, it actually works.
*Shelby Van Pelt, author of REMARKABLY BRIGHT CREATURES*

A beautifully written, heart-wringing story about love and change, about moving forward - as a shark always must - and what is lost and what is gained as we do so. Habeck has an extraordinary command of her writerly instrument, crafting sentence after sentence that feel effortless and yet are eloquent and penetrating and superb. This is the highlight of my reading-year
*Adam Roberts, author of STONE*

I loved Shark Heart with my whole heart. It's laugh-out-loud funny, yet cry-your-eyes-out profound. I don't use this word often, but it's genuinely a masterpiece
*Bobby Palmer, author of ISAAC AND THE EGG*

This is one of the best things I've read in years . . . I just want everyone in the world to read it
*Bobby Palmer, author of ISAAC AND THE EGG*

Beautifully written in short, sharp chapters, this is a quirky, brilliant and powerful love story
*The Times*

An extraordinary tale . . . This year's most beguilingly strange love story
*The Times*

Despite the magical realism, at its core, Shark Heart is a book about loss and inevitable change in life. It will make you cry, but also leave you feeling hopeful as it explores the joy found after grief
*Independent*

Absorbing and affecting
*The Guardian*

Shark Heart is very much a novel rooted in everyday concerns such as love, loss and grief, with Lewis's animal transformation a metaphor for all sorts of necessary life changes
*Daily Mail*

Beguiling . . . Habeck's setup allows her to grapple with big questions . . . [and] imbues the smallest interactions and moments with poetic weight . . . Surprising and pleasurably uncategorizable. Shark Heart is wild, in every sense of the word
*New York Times Book Review*

Habek's writing displays a deft blend of humour, lyricism, and unfiltered emotion, creating an unforgettable story that delves into the profound questions that life presents, especially in the midst of grief
*SciFi Now*

This quirky and experimental story about life and love is unlike anything you've ever read before
*Best*

A stunningly-written, multi-layered, unique novel
*The Debut Digest*

A sweet and heartbreaking tale highlighting the hiccups of marriage, motherhood, and grief
*Cosmpolitan*

A highly original, heart-rending story about abiding love that transcends trauma, grief-and even metamorphosis
*Washington Post*

A tender story about the endurance of a married couple's love . . . Vulnerable and devastating
*PopSugar*

Without a doubt, Shark Heart by Emily Habeck is one of the most unique and beautifully written books I've read. It's quite an emotional ride and, truly, would never have thought an unorthodox novel about a human man transforming into a shark would be moving but the words and overall storyline infused with love, grief and loss will hit you deeply
*New York Post*

The sophisticated, emotionally charged poetic language Habeck uses and her writing style makes you think about all of the people you have loved - and how time is truly something to be cherished . . . It was extremely well-done . . . This is the perfect example of a book that once you read, you'll want to talk to everyone you know about it . . . this book is filled with some of the most beautiful language (and story) you'll encounter
*New York Post*

Habek's debut marks the arrival of a fresh and talented writer, teaching us to embrace the impossible, seize fleeting moments of joy, and find solace in the embrace of life's unpredictable journey
*SciFi Now*

A stunning debut which grabs you with its unique style, holds you within its vulnerability and leaves you with a bittersweet aching. This is not just a story of love, it's a story of goodbyes . . . Habeck delivers an innovative and inspirational story that emotionally captures its readers until the end
*Nils Shukla, Fantasy Hive*

A bit Shakespeare, a bit Kafka, and a bit Disney . . . [this] debut stands out from the pack
*Kirkus Reviews*

Surprisingly moving, oddly heartwarming, and deeply contemplative
*Bookpage*

A poignant tale of grief and change
*Town and Country*

Raw, powerful, and delightfully unusual . . . structurally and lyrically daring, so much so that its pages quickly envelop readers in its emotional challenges and magic . . . While it begs readers to contemplate what it means to be human, it also challenges them to look at their circumstances carefully and reminds them to be grateful for what they have at hand rather than dwelling on what they may have lost. Shark Heart is an unforgettable and much needed love story for a new, uncertain, and rapidly changing era
*Southern Review of Books*

Habeck's debut explores the nature of grief through deft and beautiful writing . . . Poetic interludes and play-like vignettes punctuate the lyrical prose
*Booklist (Starred Review)*

A beautifully written, heart-wringing story about love and change, about moving forward-as a shark always must -and what is lost and what gained as we do so. Habeck has an extraordinary command of her writerly instrument, crafting sentence after sentence that feel effortless and yet are eloquent and penetrating and superb. This is the highlight of my reading-year
*Adam Roberts, author of Stone*

A stunning debut which grabs you with its unique style, holds you within its vulnerability and leaves you with a bittersweet aching. This is not just a story of love, it's a story of goodbyes . . . Habeck delivers an innovative and inspirational story that emotionally captures its readers until the end
*Nils Shukla, Fantasy Hive*

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