You Deserve Nothing

Author(s): Alexander Maksik


Set in an international high school in Paris, YOU DESERVE NOTHING is told in three voices: that of Will, a charismatic young teacher who brings ideas alive in the classroom in a way that profoundly affects his students; Gilad, one of Will's students who has grown up behind compound walls in places like Dakar and Dubai, and for whom Paris and Will's senior seminar are the first heady tastes of freedom; and Marie, the beautiful, vulnerable senior with whom, unbeknowst to Gilad, Will is having an illicit affair. Utterly compelling, brilliantly written, YOU DESERVE NOTHING is a captivating tale about teachers and students, of moral uncertainties and the coming of adulthood. It heralds the arrival of a brilliant new voice in fiction.


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'One of the most engaged reads I've had in years. YOU DESERVE NOTHING is that rare and fearless debut novel that feels like anything but.' - Alice Sebold, author of THE LOVELY BONES. 'Alexander Maksik's YOU DESERVE NOTHING is a bracing, challenging, enthralling debut. It is a novel that rings true from first page to last, refusing the false notion of easy choices, inhabiting, rather, the moral maze of lived life. Here is a gifted writer who understands why the artful telling of a difficult story is a brave and important thing to do. Read this book.' - John Burnham Schwartz author of THE COMMONER and RESERVATION ROAD 'A provocative, constantly surprising, and original novel written with precision and grace. Maksik is unflinching in his exploration of the sexual awakening of the young, and the moral complexity of adulthood. This is a thrilling debut.' - Susanna Moore, author of IN THE CUT 'The best stories are by nature confrontational, implicitly asking readers to assess their own lives and assumptions, asking readers not only what they might do in difficult situations but more so what they are doing daily and what it all means. By this yardstick, Alexander Maksik's first novel, You Deserve Nothing, is a thoroughly engaging, passionate, and challenging read that finely walks the line between morality and amorality. In a society, and at a time, when individual identity is so closely tied to collective narcissism, Maksik's novel asks what are the true sources of self-worth? And how shall we live?' - Tom Jenks, editor, Narrative magazine. 'The phrase 'brilliant debut' is much overused in our world, but Alexander Maksik's You Deserve Nothing is truly one of those rarest of creatures, a brilliant debut. Maksik's superb novel takes on the most fundamental question how are we supposed to live with a freshness and urgency that are nothing short of masterful. This is a gorgeous, troubling, unflinching book, as honest and rich a depiction of life's contradictions as I've encountered in many years.' - Ben Fountain, Author of Brief Encounters with Che Guevarra. 'Alexander Maksik deftly evokes the beauty and pathos of Paris. The story of Will, Gilad and Marie, each compelled towards his or her own moral and sexual awakening, is at once dark and luminous. This is a book to be read all at once with a glass of wine in a cafe or a cup of tea while tucked safely in bed' - A.M. Homes. 'YOU DESERVE NOTHING is a powerful, absorbing novel and Alexander Maksik is an unusually gifted writer' - Tom Perrotta Author of Little Children, Election and The Leftovers.

Alexander Maksik is the recipient of a Truman Capote fellowship and a Teaching/Writing fellowship from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. His work has been published in many literary magazines. This is his first novel.

General Fields

  • : 9781848545717
  • : John Murray General Publishing Division
  • : John Murray Publishers Ltd
  • : August 2011
  • : 232mm X 155mm X 23mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : September 2011
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Alexander Maksik
  • : Paperback
  • : 1
  • : English
  • : 813
  • : 320