All's Well: A Novel (Paperback)
"Mona Awad, author of the critically acclaimed novel Bunny, has once again proven that she’s an expert in the area of comic-tragedies. In All’s Well, she pulls gently from Shakespeare’s play, All’s Well That Ends Well, in order to spin a tale that revolves around chronic pain, theater, and obsession.
Readers are taken along this journey with the protagonist, Miranda, a former actor injured in a Shakespeare production who now fills the role of the “haggard teacher” at a small liberal arts college. Over the course of the story, she attempts to relive her experiences as an actor by directing the school’s annual play, insisting on putting on All’s Well That Ends Well. Needless to say, things go disastrously wrong.
Awad’s writing is genius. Her story is darkly funny and deeply unnerving. We, the readers, begin on Miranda’s side, but watch helplessly as she spirals into something unrecognizable, a narrator that we can no longer trust to do the “right” thing or tell the truth. Perception is everything, and Awad teaches us through All’s Well that nothing is as simple as it seems at first glance."— From Kiley's Staff Picks
August 2021 Indie Next List
“Gloriously bananas, dark and weird, and so, so good. All’s Well is a big, messy, strange journey about chronic pain, Shakespeare, friendship, mental health, witchcraft, and work.”
— Rachel Barry, WORD Bookstores, Brooklyn, NY
From the author of Bunny, which Margaret Atwood hails as “genius,” comes a “wild, and exhilarating” (Lauren Groff) novel about a theater professor who is convinced staging Shakespeare’s most maligned play will remedy all that ails her—but at what cost?
Miranda Fitch’s life is a waking nightmare. The accident that ended her burgeoning acting career left her with excruciating chronic back pain, a failed marriage, and a deepening dependence on painkillers. And now, she’s on the verge of losing her job as a college theater director. Determined to put on Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well, the play that promised and cost her everything, she faces a mutinous cast hellbent on staging Macbeth instead. Miranda sees her chance at redemption slip through her fingers.
That’s when she meets three strange benefactors who have an eerie knowledge of Miranda’s past and a tantalizing promise for her future: one where the show goes on, her rebellious students get what’s coming to them, and the invisible doubted pain that’s kept her from the spotlight is made known.
With prose Margaret Atwood has described as “no punches pulled, no hilarities dodged…genius,” Mona Awad has concocted her most potent, subversive novel yet. All’s Well is a “fabulous novel” (Mary Karr) about a woman at her breaking point and a formidable, piercingly funny indictment of our collective refusal to witness and believe female pain.
About the Author
Mona Awad is the author of Bunny, named a Best Book of 2019 by Time, Vogue, and the New York Public Library. It was a finalist for the New England Book Award and a Goodreads Choice Award for Best Horror. It is currently in development for film with Jenni Konner and New Regency Productions. Awad’s first novel, 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl, was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and winner of the Colorado Book Award. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Vogue, Time, McSweeney’s, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. She teaches in the creative writing program at Syracuse University.