Winner of the National Book Award

A Novel of Fame, Honor, and Really Bad Weather

Jincy Willett


Download Image Jincy Willett Winner of the National Book Award

Available Formats

Set in Rhode Island, Winner of the National Book Award tells the story of twins who could not be more different. Abigail Mather is a woman of passionate sensual and sexual appetites, while her sister, the book loving local librarian Dorcas, lives a quiet life of the mind. But when the sisters are sought out by the predatory and famous poet, Guy DeVilbiss, who introduces them to Hollywood hack writer and possible psychopath Conrad Lowe, they rapidly become pawns in a game that leads to betrayal, shame and ultimately, murder.
Darkly comic and satirical, Jincy Willett's Winner of the National Book Award is unnervingly funny and disarmingly tender whether she is writing about sex, literary delusion or Yankee pretension.

Connect with the Author

Jincy Willett

Official Sites

Related Links

Sign Up for
Author Updates

Macmillan Newsletter

Sign up to receive information about new books, author events, and special offers.

Sign up now

Book Excerpts

Read an Excerpt

An Ordinary Birth

Chapter 1
An Extraordinary Birth

Abigail Mather was special from the very beginning.
A fraternal twin, she had her birthday all to herself. Abigail was born, to Mathilda Wallace Mather, in the Providence Lying-In Hospital, on the thirty-first day of December, 1938. Six hours later, in the New Year, her twin, Dorcas, was born. Doctors and nurses exclaimed over this phenomenon, which had never before happened in the history of the hospital.

Here's oral history for you. Here's folk tradition. Hilda obviously didn't bother with any pesky, prosaic

Read the full excerpt



Praise for Winner of the National Book Award

"The funniest novel I have read, possibly ever. Brilliant, totally original, and worthy of its title. I promise you will laugh constantly and to the point of stomach damage."-
-Augusten Burroughs, author of Running With Scissors and Dry
"Riotous . . . hugely funny . . . Willett's satirical abilities remain deliciously undimmed. . . . A wicked treat. . . . Amid the antic, hilarious, gender-bending battle of the sexes that Ms. Willett whips up in this book, either one may qualify as a reason to kill. Either that, or to die laughing."
--Janet Maslin, New York Times
"The author mows down worlds of artistic and psychological twaddle with killer sprays of language. Willett is effortlessly, furiously funny. . . . A."
--Entertainment Weekly
"Read the title with a snort that echoes across the room, and proceed from there...unnerving, scabrously funny...a spectacularly toxic novel."
--The Onion
"Willett plays artfully with narrative structure. . . . It's Dorcas' jaded take on every Yankee pretension, psycho-babble truism and literary delusion she encounters that makes this gothic tale so amusing."
--Seattle Times
"She writes for the joy of reading, not for the puffed-up pride of having written, and we're the ones who run off with the prize."
--New York Times Book Review
"Dorcas' deadpan narration is perfect. . . . Willett's hapless characters are, in the end: grotesquely flawed, hugely funny, but human."
--J.L. Johnson, Boston Herald
"A sharp, highly original satire."
--Time Out
"A hilarious black comedy . . . brilliantly constructed and unabashedly vicious . . . Nothing escapes [Willett's] notice, and Dorcas' keen view of the world is richer for that fact. And so are we."
--Miami Herald

Reviews from Goodreads


About the Author

Jincy Willett

Jincy Willett is a Rhode Island writer living in San Diego, California, and the author of the collection Jenny and the Jaws of Life, a St. Martin's Griffin paperback.

Jincy Willett

Photo: Edward Kornhauser
Jincy Willett

Official Sites


Reading Guide

Organizing a Reading Group


Get the Guide

Download PDF

Tell Your Friends


Find More Books

Go to Website

Stay Updated

Sign Up

Buy the Book

Available Formats and Book Details

Winner of the National Book Award
A Novel of Fame, Honor, and Really Bad Weather
Jincy Willett

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
October 2004
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312424237
ISBN10: 031242423X
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 336 pages

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
Thomas Dunne Books
April 2010
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429982382
ISBN10: 1429982381
336 pages

From The Publisher


Latest on Facebook

Latest on Twitter