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Rules for Visiting
Cover of Rules for Visiting
Rules for Visiting
A Novel
Borrow Borrow
NATIONAL BESTSELLER!
*An Oprah Summer Reading Pick for 2019*
*A best book of 2019 pick for Real Simple, Southern Living, and Vulture*
*A May IndieNext Pick*
"Fun, hilarious, and extremely touching."—NPR.org

A beautifully observed and deeply funny novel of May Attaway, a university gardener who sets out on an odyssey to reconnect with four old friends over the course of a year.

At forty, May Attaway is more at home with plants than people. Over the years, she's turned inward, finding pleasure in language, her work as a gardener, and keeping her neighbors at arm's length while keenly observing them. But when she is unexpectedly granted some leave from her job, May is inspired to reconnect with four once close friends. She knows they will never have a proper reunion, so she goes, one-by-one, to each of them. A student of the classics, May considers her journey a female Odyssey. What might the world have had if, instead of waiting, Penelope had set out on an adventure of her own?
RULES FOR VISITING is a woman's exploration of friendship in the digital age. Deeply alert to the nobility and the ridiculousness of ordinary people, May savors the pleasures along the way—afternoon ice cream with a long-lost friend, surprise postcards from an unexpected crush, and a moving encounter with ancient beauty. Though she gets a taste of viral online fame, May chooses to bypass her friends' perfectly cultivated online lives to instead meet them in their messy analog ones.
Ultimately, May learns that a best friend is someone who knows your story—and she inspires us all to master the art of visiting.
NATIONAL BESTSELLER!
*An Oprah Summer Reading Pick for 2019*
*A best book of 2019 pick for Real Simple, Southern Living, and Vulture*
*A May IndieNext Pick*
"Fun, hilarious, and extremely touching."—NPR.org

A beautifully observed and deeply funny novel of May Attaway, a university gardener who sets out on an odyssey to reconnect with four old friends over the course of a year.

At forty, May Attaway is more at home with plants than people. Over the years, she's turned inward, finding pleasure in language, her work as a gardener, and keeping her neighbors at arm's length while keenly observing them. But when she is unexpectedly granted some leave from her job, May is inspired to reconnect with four once close friends. She knows they will never have a proper reunion, so she goes, one-by-one, to each of them. A student of the classics, May considers her journey a female Odyssey. What might the world have had if, instead of waiting, Penelope had set out on an adventure of her own?
RULES FOR VISITING is a woman's exploration of friendship in the digital age. Deeply alert to the nobility and the ridiculousness of ordinary people, May savors the pleasures along the way—afternoon ice cream with a long-lost friend, surprise postcards from an unexpected crush, and a moving encounter with ancient beauty. Though she gets a taste of viral online fame, May chooses to bypass her friends' perfectly cultivated online lives to instead meet them in their messy analog ones.
Ultimately, May learns that a best friend is someone who knows your story—and she inspires us all to master the art of visiting.
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About the Author-
  • JESSICA FRANCIS KANE is the author of This Close (Graywolf, 2013), The Report (Graywolf, 2010), and Bending Heaven (Counterpoint, 2002). This Close was longlisted the for Frank O'Connor International Short Story Prize, and The Report was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection and a finalist for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize from the Center for Fiction. Her stories and essays have appeared in a number of publications, including Virginia Quarterly Review, McSweeney's, The Missouri Review, The Yale Review, A Public Space, and Granta.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 25, 2019
    In Kane’s impeccably written and surprisingly moving second novel (after The Report), May Attaway is an endearingly principled university gardener approaching 40, who lives in her childhood home in Anneville with her father, a retired professor. She moved back to take care of her mother, who has since died, and has neither married nor had children. Though not unhappy, May’s life is at an impasse. When a poem about a yew tree on campus wins a major prize, and a reporter points out May planted the original cutting, she is rewarded with 30 days of paid leave. This coincides with the death of a writer May never knew personally, but whose tribute site May is fond of reading after it went up following her death. So May, seeing how beloved the writer is, decides to use her month off to visit four old friends: Lindy, a happy mom of three and homemaker; Neera, living on the West Coast and navigating a disintegrating marriage; Vanessa, living a cosmopolitan life in New York; and Rose, also a gardener and living in her native England. On May’s visits, she comes to realize the importance of empathy in cultivating relationships, not only with them but with the many people in her life, both past and present. May’s journey is lovely and deeply affecting.

  • AudioFile Magazine This gentle story of human connection thrives under narrator Emily Rankin's care. May Attaway, a gardener at a university, is awarded an unprecedented month's leave for helping a professor win a poetry award. She cultivated the poem's subject: a yew tree. May had moved home to help care for her ailing mother, who soon died tragically--details are unclear at first. Ever since, May has found her solitary life empty. Her solution, with Emily Post as her etiquette guide, is to use her leave to reconnect with friends. One of Rankin's contributions to the audio's success is how she highlights May's occasional lack of self-awareness. Small but significant decisions in voicing May's dialogue provide clues that a reader might miss on the printed page. K.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award � AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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Rules for Visiting
Rules for Visiting
A Novel
Jessica Francis Kane
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