From the critically acclaimed author of Be Safe I Love You comes a dark and breathtaking novel of love, friendship, and survival set in the red light district of Athens in the 1980s that Garth Greenwall calls “a ferocious, brilliant book.”
“We were looking for nothing and found it in Athens.”
Bridey Sullivan is a young American who has fled a peculiar and traumatic upbringing in Washington State. Searching for a new beginning, she arrives in Athens, Greece, in 1989, and quickly finds work as a “runner,” riding trains looking for tourists to lure back to the four-dollar-a night Hotel Olympos in exchange for a small commission and a free place to stay. There, she meets a queer couple, English poet Milo Rollack and Eton dropout Jasper Lethe. As the trio “run” trains, slip in and out of homelessness, and drink away their meager earnings in seedy corner bars, they form a unique kind of family. But when they befriend an IRA fugitive, they become inextricably linked to an act of terrorism that will mark each of them for life and force them apart.
Soon after, Bridey reemerges but no one has fared well in her absence; Milo has disappeared and Jasper has died mysteriously. The news drives her from the streets of Athens’ red-light district to the remote island cliff houses of the southern Mediterranean, hoping to find answers, and seeking an impossible absolution. As the years pass, Milo, now a successful writer and professor, searches for her, equally haunted by the secret of their past and struggling to live ethically in a world he knows is corrupt.
Dark and Incendiary, Running is a sweeping and fearless story of friendship and survival from Cara Hoffman, An author whose work the New York Times says "Reminds us art and love are all that can keep s from despair."
Praise for Running:
A New York Times Editor's Choice
A "Most Anticipated Book of 2017" Selection by The Millions
One of Entertainment Weekly's "Best New Books"
One of Esquire's "Best Books of 2017"
Autostraddle's Queer and Feminist Books to read in 2017
“This uncompromising, incendiary novel holds true to the same fierce commitments as its haunting, haunted characters: it follows risk beyond all rules, and makes a kind of meaning I haven’t seen before. Caught between acts of radical violence and radical love, Hoffman’s poets and conmen are lost souls with no interest in being found, a queer family bound by affinity and nerve. I fell in love with them, and with this ferocious, brilliant book.”
— Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You
“Reading this novel was a conversion experience—I was immediately with the narrator, and I didn’t care where we were going, every sentence lit up with silver rain and smoke and the beauty of arriving in a foreign city and the defiance of needing almost nothing—and how strangely impossible it is when you lose that. Running is like taking a trip into a story you never knew you needed—and you should take it, at once.”
— Alexander Chee, author of Edinburgh and Queen of the Night
“RUNNING is an unstoppable spark racing along a fuse. There is no escaping the heat, grime, or glittering promise of violence of Athens’s underbelly, but the bond between three young drifters is infused with moments of transcendence. I devoured this beautiful book, and Hoffman’s writing is a revelation.”
— Rae Meadows, author of I Will Send Rain