PRAISE FOR OLIVER LOVING

"Powerful, ambitious ... A beautifully rendered meditation on the nature of forgiveness, mercy, and healing."

-Library Journal, Starred Review

"Block has done an excellent job of building both his characters and the West Texas setting, which lives vividly on the page, all heat and dust and decrepitude. At once timely and timeless, this is an exciting story that rewards reader interest.”

-Booklist, Starred Review

"Every page of this compelling, exquisitely written novel is suffused with a warm intelligence that evokes the best of Tobias Wolfe, Jeffrey Eugenides and Michael Chabon. With a superb evocation of place (Texas), Oliver Loving is a haunting, imaginative, and deeply poignant story by one of America's great wordsmiths. I love this wise, probing and beautiful novel."

-Steve Toltz, Man Booker-shortlisted author of A Fraction of the Whole and Quicksand

"A topic both timely and timeless, psychologically astute and vividly rendered, with strong characters and a rich sense of place." 

-Kirkus Reveiews


"Stefan Merrill Block has a masterful understanding of family dynamics. He writes with authority about the power of secrets, shared history and how tragedy shapes lives. The result is a haunting, bittersweet, addictive novel that will keep you wondering until the very end."

-- J Courtney Sullivan, New York Times-bestselling author of Maine and Saints for All Occasions

""Like Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections and Annie Proulx's The Shipping NewsOliver Loving is an extraordinary novel about family and community, told with real heart and humour and style. Stefan Merrill Block has the rare ability to capture, in his literature, the secrets we store in silence — the pages of a life that are rarely read aloud."

-Jonathan Lee, author of High Dive

"Stefan Merrill Block's profound third novel, Oliver Loving, is intricately constructed and rich with devastating, gorgeous prose. But it is the author's rare and special sense of empathy -- felt so deeply in every moment -- which elevates this novel to a breathtaking place."
- Jami Attenberg, New York Times bestselling author of The Middlesteins and All Grown Up

"One reason we read fiction is to know the lives of others as well as our own. In OLIVER LOVING Stefan Merrill Block writes about a West Texas family and community so wholly and honestly, and with such poetic beauty, that their dreams and sorrows become ours. This is a dazzling, psychologically astute, scientifically engaged novel about love, loss, and the mysteries of the mind. Through one family's tragedy Block dares to ask some of the most profound questions of what it means to be alive."

― David Ebershoff, author of The Danish Girl and The 19th Wife

"With exquisite prose and nuanced insights into the functions and dysfunctions of family, Oliver Loving ranges far and wide, from small-town Texas to New York City, communication with semi-living ghosts to the American appetite for violence, the uncharted territory of the human brain to the equally elusive mysteries of the human heart. Stefan Merrill Block has written a captivating, powerful novel." 


― Teddy Wayne, author of The Love Song of Jonny Valentine

"In lucid prose and with a tremendouslysure narrative hand, Block weaves together a coming of age story and a lamentof lost youth. This is the story of the devastation inflicted on those leftbehind by catastrophic illness, and the strength they find to live in the wakeof it. The novel becomes a thriller of sorts, with secrets upon secrets,conflicting agendas, and the truth quivering in every conversation. Anessential window into the consciousness of someone on the other side of animpenetrable veil, Oliver Loving brilliantly illuminates theenduring bonds of family and offers one of literature's best explorations ofthe limits of communication we all grapple with."

―Matthew Thomas, New York Times bestselling author of We Are Not Ourselves