Have a Gift or Promo Code? Get Started

Share a video about what your bookstore means to you and receive a FREE audiobook.

Learn more
Bookseller Pick
My Dark Vanessa
Price:

$34.49 USD

Get for free with membership
  Add to Wish List

Almost ready!

In order to save audiobooks to your Wish List you must be signed in to your account.

      Log in       Create account

My Dark Vanessa

A Novel

By Kate Elizabeth Russell
Narrated by Grace Gummer / 15 hours 36 minutes

Exploring the psychological dynamics of the relationship between a precocious yet naïve teenage girl and her magnetic and manipulative teacher, a brilliant, all-consuming read that marks the explosive debut of an extraordinary new writer.

Bookseller recommendation

My Dark Vanessa

“In this gripping debut novel, a teenage girl falls into an affair with her English teacher, who is 30 years her senior. The voice of Vanessa, the narrator, is unparalleled in its honesty, and her emotions are fiercely conveyed with unrelenting realness. This novel is a timely and important read, sometimes difficult, but ultimately an unforgettable experience. You will be left astonished and transformed. Vanessa is formidable and so is her story; you won’t be able to put down this powerhouse of a novel.”

Luisa Barbano image Luisa Barbano, Oblong Books & Music

2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher.

2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenager—and who professed to worship only her—may be far different from what she has always believed?

Alternating between Vanessa’s present and her past, My Dark Vanessa juxtaposes memory and trauma with the breathless excitement of a teenage girl discovering the power her own body can wield. Thought-provoking and impossible to put down, this is a masterful portrayal of troubled adolescence and its repercussions that raises vital questions about agency, consent, complicity, and victimhood. Written with the haunting intimacy of The Girls and the creeping intensity of Room, My Dark Vanessa is an era-defining novel that brilliantly captures and reflects the shifting cultural mores transforming our relationships and society itself.

Gift

Gift audiobook memberships

You pick the duration—1, 3, 6, or 12 months—they pick the audiobooks. Buying gifts from your local bookstore has never been so easy.

Start gifting
 

About the Author

Kate Elizabeth Russell was born and raised in eastern Maine. She holds an MFA from Indiana University and a PhD from the University of Kansas. My Dark Vanessa is her first novel.


Reviews

“Explosive . . . a significant addition to the necessary reassessments and conversations sparked by the #MeToo movement.”

NPR

“Gripping and unsettling . . . a bracingly uncompromising book. It will doubtless be devoured with an ache of recognition by large numbers of women. But it really ought to be read by men”

The Economist

“As powerful as it is painful, and deserves its reputation as one of the defining books of the #MeToo era.”

Vogue

Author
Narrator Grace Gummer
ISBN 9780062941534
Length 15 hours 36 minutes
Language English
Publisher HarperAudio
Publication date
Edition Unabridged
Libro.fm rank #222 Overall
Genre rank #51 in Literary Fiction

Share a video about what your bookstore means to you and receive a FREE audiobook.

Learn more