Heft: A Novel (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

"Liz Moore is the author of the recent best-selling novel Long, Bright River. Having liked that book a great deal, I was eager to read her earlier book Heft. I ended up liking it even more than Long Bright River.  Heft centers on Arthur Opp, a reclusive obese former professor and his student Charlene. Like Arthur, Charlene is battling various demons. However, her life is complicated by her teenage son, Kel, whom she is raising on her own.  Arthur and Charlene commence a years-long correspondence that Kel learns about and seeks to discover the nature of.  This is a wonderful story of friendship and love among a set of characters not often depicted in novels."

— Sandy

February 2012 Indie Next List

“Heft is a novel both heartbreaking and hopeful, with characters who navigate the waters of love and family as if afraid of drowning. Arthur Opp, initially larger-than-life only in the physical sense, emerges as an intelligent and caring man, who the reader eagerly cheers on in his attempts to trust himself and others. Moore's writing hums as she gives voice to those we've chosen not to hear and illuminates those we've chosen not to see.”
— Dawn Rennert, The Concord Bookshop, Concord, MA


From the New York Times bestselling author of Long Bright River: "A stunningly sad and heroically hopeful tale…This is a beautiful novel about relationships of the most makeshift kind." —O, The Oprah Magazine

Arthur Opp weighs 550 pounds and hasn’t left his rambling Brooklyn home in a decade. Twenty miles away, in Yonkers, seventeen-year-old Kel Keller navigates life as the poor kid in a rich school and pins his hopes on what seems like a promising baseball career. The link between this unlikely pair is Kel’s mother, Charlene, a former student of Arthur’s. Told with warmth and intelligence through Arthur and Kel’s own quirky and lovable voices, Heft is the story of two improbable heroes whose connection transforms both their lives.

About the Author

Liz Moore is the author of the acclaimed novel Heft. A winner of the 2014 Rome Prize in Literature, she lives in Philadelphia.

Praise For…

Moore’s characters are lovingly drawn…A truly original voice.
— The New Yorker

Heft achieves real poignancy…The warmth, the humanity and the hope in this novel make it compelling and pleasurable.

— Washington Post

Few novelists of recent memory have put our bleak isolation into words as clearly as Liz Moore does in her new novel.
— San Francisco Chronicle

[Moore] writes with compassion and emotional insight but resists sentimentality…Heft leads to hope.

— People

Tender, thoughtful.
— New York Times Book Review

Moore’s writing is clear, persuasive, and totally engaging, bringing her characters to life in all their sweet, quirky glory.
— Boston Globe

This is not a novel with a happy ending, and that’s a good thing. Moore doesn’t tie her story up in a pretty package and hand it to the reader with care, but artfully acknowledges in the end that some heavy loads cannot easily be left behind.
— Minneapolis Star Tribune

Every once in a while, you read a book with such well-written, memorable characters that you know you’re going to remember them forever…Heft is a wonderful oddball of a book. I loved it.

— Jennifer Weiner

A suspenseful, restorative novel from one of our fine young voices.
— Colum McCann

This is the real deal, Liz Moore is the real deal—she's written a novel that will stick with you long after you've finished it.
— Russell Banks

Heft is a work that radiantly combines compassion and a clear-eyed vision. This is a novel of rare originality and sophistication.

— Mary Gordon

In Heft, Liz Moore creates a cast of vulnerable, lonely misfits that will break your heart and then make it soar. What a terrific novel!

— Ann Hood
Product Details
ISBN: 9780393343885
ISBN-10: 039334388X
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: September 4th, 2012
Pages: 368
Language: English