Everyone is Watching

Megan Bradbury

09 March 2017
288 pages


Beautiful, kaleidoscopic . . . everyone should be watching Megan Bradbury from now on' Eimear McBride, Baileys Prize-winning author of A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing

New York: A city that inspires. A city that draws people in. A city where everyone is watching, waiting to see what will happen next.

1967. Robert Mapplethorpe knows he is an artist. From his childhood home in Queens he yearns for the heat and excitement of the city, the press of other people's bodies. He wants to be watched, he wants to be known.

1891. Walt Whitman has already found fame, and has settled into his own sort of old age. Still childlike, still passionate, he travels with his friend and biographer Bucke to the city he has always adored, the scene of his greatest triumphs and rejections.

1922. Robert Moses is a man with a vision. Standing on the edge of Long Island he knows what it could become. Walking down a street in Brooklyn he sees its future. He is the man who will build modern New York.

2013. Edmund White is back in New York. It's the city of his youth, of his life and loves. He remembers days of lazy pleasure, nights of ecstasy and euphoria. But years have gone by since then.

Everyone is Watching is a novel about the men and women who have defined New York. Through the lives and perspectives of these great creators, artists and thinkers, and through other iconic works of art that capture its essence, New York itself solidifies. Complex, rich, sordid, tantalizing, it is constantly changing and evolving. Both intimate and epic in its sweep, Everyone is Watching is a love letter to New York and its people - past, present and future.

I loved Megan Bradbury’s debut novel, Everyone Is Watching, a book ostensibly about a century or so of life in New York, but really about how cities themselves are works of communal action and art, and about how, even in the most draconian and reactionary of times, the vibrancy of these two things will light, reveal, challenge and reshape the fabrics of where and how we live. It’s a beating heart of a novel
A highly original and elegantly written debut . . . a genuine attempt to evolve the form of the novel while trying to find a new way to tell a person's story . . . one has to applaud the great ambition of this book . . . There's a hypnotic effect to the prose and a sense that the author both understands and loves this most complicated of cities . . . a fascinating gift . . . [Megan Bradbury] is an extraordinary talent.
A kaleidoscopic dreamscape of New York seen through the eyes of some of its most celebrated inhabitants . . . immersive and compelling . . . hypnotic . . . dirty, dangerous and delicious, this is a novel that understands the cost of contact and bets on it anyway