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What Belongs to You

3.77 based on 3869 ratings & 608 reviews on Goodreads.com

2017 Short-listed

James Tait Black Prize for Fiction

2017 Short-listed

Green Carnation Prize

2017 Short-listed

BBIA: Debut Fiction of the Year

Synopsis

WINNER OF THE DEBUT OF THE YEAR AWARD AT THE 2017 BRITISH BOOK AWARDS.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE JAMES TAIT BLACK PRIZE 2017.
CHOSEN IN OVER FIFTY BEST BOOKS OF 2016 LISTS, FROM NINE COUNTRIES.

On an unseasonably warm autumn day, an American teacher enters a public bathroom beneath Sofia's National Palace of Culture. There he meets Mitko, a charismatic young hustler, and pays him for sex. He returns to Mitko again and again over the next few months, their relationship growing increasingly intimate and unnerving.

As he struggles to reconcile his longing with the anguish it creates, he's forced to grapple with his own fraught history: his formative experiences of love, his painful rejection by family and friends, and the difficulty of growing up as a gay man in southern America in the 1990s.

Startlingly erotic and immensely powerful, What Belongs to You tells an unforgettable story about the ways our pasts and cultures, our scars and shames can shape who we are and determine how we love.

Longlisted for the National Book Award in Fiction
A Finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction
A Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction

In the media

Slim, eloquent and emotionally wrenching, this debut novel is a superb evocation of that curious state known as love . . . Greenwell's shimmering novel recounts an age-old story with such toughness and tenderness as to make it seem new: and that is an art in itself
RTÉ Guide
Heartfelt . . . [A] touching, desperately sad story. And the character of Mitko, so vivid yet elusive, explains why What Belongs to You is such a promising debut
The Times
Slim, eloquent and emotionally wrenching, this debut novel is a superb evocation of that curious state known as love . . . Greenwell's shimmering novel recounts an age-old story with such toughness and tenderness as to make it seem new: and that is an art in itself
RTÉ Guide