Worry: A Novel (Hardcover)

Worry: A Novel By Alexandra Tanner Cover Image
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“Insidious millennial malaise and the exhaustion of performative activism are contrasted through the story of two sisters who overstay their welcome in one another’s orbit. The dialogue will split you, gut you, and stitch you back up again.”
— Kyle Rea, Greenlight Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY



A “dryly witty” (The New Yorker) and “fabulously revealing” (The New York Times Book Review) debut that follows two sisters-turned-roommates navigating an absurd world on the verge of calamity—a Seinfeldian novel for readers of Ottessa Moshfegh and Sally Rooney.

It’s March of 2019, and twenty-eight-year-old Jules Gold—anxious, artistically frustrated, and internet-obsessed—has been living alone in the apartment she once shared with the man she thought she’d marry when her younger sister Poppy comes to crash. Indefinitely. Poppy, a year and a half out from a suicide attempt only Jules knows about, searches for work and meaning in Brooklyn while Jules spends her days hate-scrolling the feeds of Mormon mommy bloggers and waiting for life to happen.

Then the hives that’ve plagued Poppy since childhood flare up. Jules’s uterus turns against her. Poppy brings home a maladjusted rescue dog named Amy Klobuchar. The girls’ mother, a newly devout Messianic Jew, starts falling for the same deep-state conspiracy theories as Jules’s online mommies. Jules, halfheartedly struggling to scrape her way to the source of her ennui, slowly and cruelly comes to blame Poppy for her own insufficiencies as a friend, a writer, and a sister. And Amy Klobuchar might have rabies. As the year shambles on and a new decade looms near, a disastrous trip home to Florida forces Jules and Poppy—comrades, competitors, constant fixtures in each other’s lives—to ask themselves what they want their futures to look like, and whether they’ll spend them together or apart.

“A tragicomic portrait of urban millennial life” (Shelf Awareness), Worry is a “riotously funny and wryly existential” (Harper’s Bazaar) novel of sisterhood from a nervy new voice in contemporary fiction.

About the Author

Alexandra Tanner is a Brooklyn-based writer and editor. She is a graduate of the MFA program at The New School and a recipient of fellowships from MacDowell, The Center for Fiction, and Spruceton Inn’s Artist Residency. Her writing appears in GrantaThe New York Times Book ReviewThe Baffler, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Jewish Currents, among other outlets. Worry is her first novel.

Praise For…

"A bitingly funny, extremely online novel about sisterhood." —Washington Post, Summer Reading Recommendations

“This hilariously absurdist novel will have you relating to the character's anxiety a bit too much, even as you can't put it down . . .  [an] addictive read.” —Isaac Fitzgerald, The Today Show's "Best Vacation Read"

"A moody beach read for girls who hate their jobs, text their exes, and feel like the things they want will destroy them." —Kelsey McKinney, host of Normal Gossip

"Dryly witty . . . highlights absurdities of contemporary culture and the consequences of self-absorption." —New Yorker

“Fabulously revealing. . . . The novel runs on an engine that relentlessly converts suffering, usually of the inner-turmoil variety, into comedic relief. . . . Some stories give you the unvarnished truth, some the varnished one. Worry is generous and wise enough to give both.” —Hannah Gold, New York Times Book Review

"Jewish anxiety is perfectly distilled in this quick read. . . . the humor and singularity of voice make it an excellent pool-side read." —Kveller

"A portrait of sisterly love that is both hilarious and deeply disturbing." —Ailsa Chang, NPR

"If a Big Sister Manifesto did exist, one that captured the hypocrisies of the role along with the heroism, the joy along with the pain, then Alexandra Tanner has come as close as it gets with her debut novel, Worry. . . . Like Ferrante and Heti before her, Tanner has constructed a layered Künstlerroman, an artist’s novel about two artists coming to maturity." —Leah Abrams, Los Angeles Review of Books

“Tanner’s Brooklyn-set debut novel about two sisters’ coming-of-anxiety is both riotously funny and wryly existential.” —Harper's Bazaar

"There’s warmth and originality at play here, as well as a strong emotional undertow to Tanner’s tale of anti-vax momfluencers and the indignity of splitting the cheque at birthday parties held at expensive small-plates restaurants. . . . Jen Beagin's zany and brilliant Big Swiss could be this book’s cousin." —The Guardian

"Alert: A genuinely funny book has entered the chat. . . . This debut novel’s observations about life in 2019—and in your twenties—are darkly hilarious and almost too spot on." —theSkimm

"As vividly and unrelentingly dark as the world of Worry is, its storytelling style is genuinely funny; Tanner also inserts absurd details and scenarios that will make you laugh despite the narrator’s sour perspective." —The Cut

"A portrait of contemporary life that is equal parts hilarious, brutal, and affecting." —Lilith

"Limning the absurdity of our internet-addled, dread-filled moment, Tanner establishes herself as a formidable novelist." —The Millions

"Worry is exacting and hilarious, the startling, familiar shock of seeing your own slightly warped face reflected back to you when your iPhone dies from hours of scrolling. . . . But at its core, Worry is a novel about sisters and the love they share despite being given access to each other’s emotional nuclear codes." —NYLON

"Dark, funny . . .  a haunting snapshot of contemporary life." —Minneapolis Star-Tribune
"A tragicomic portrait of urban millennial life, Worry is a timely mashup of Ottessa Moshfegh's desensitized characters and Sally Rooney's attention to complex social (de)attachment." —Shelf Awareness
"Gripping . . . Worry contains both the chaos of Lena Dunham’s Girls and the neurotic humor of Curb Your Enthusiasm."  —Chicago Review of Books
"A disturbingly relatable tale." —Jezebel

"Could very well be the Great Millennial Novel." —Debutiful
"Worry is the book of the year for hot Jewish girls—and everyone else." —Hey Alma
"Reading this feels a lot like hanging out with a sister . . . It’s a bit like looking in a fun house mirror at times, sometimes to my horror, but always to my entertainment." —Condé Nast Traveler

"[A] mordant debut . . . comical and savage. . . With unflinching honesty, Tanner captures the claustrophobia of 21st-century young adulthood." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Worry is the novel of the online generation. . . . With wit and brilliant insight, Tanner explores the nuances particular to sisterhood."  —Electric Literature
"Perfect for fans of Elif Batuman and Ottessa Moshfegh, Worry encapsulates a uniquely millennial malaise." —PureWow
"Intense . . . engrossing . . . hilarious." —Style Weekly

Worry writes toward truth in the time of the internet, it uncovers the absolute horror of ‘buying things,’ and it does what novels are meant to do: hauntingly display the dark and familiar sides of human behavior.” —Kiley Reid, New York Times bestselling author of Such a Fun Age and Come and Get It
"The kind of book you will constantly be reading out loud to others. . . . This hilarious, unremittingly jaundiced depiction of modern young adulthood hits rare extremes of both funny and sad." —Kirkus (starred review)

“Fans of Jen Beagin and Melissa Broder will appreciate Tanner's style. . . . A stinging yet joyful story about life playing out online or nowhere.” —Booklist
"Candid, funny." —BBC, Best Novels of 2024 (So Far)

"I've spent my whole life desperately trying not to say the stuff that comes out of these characters' mouths." —Tony Tulathimutte, author of Private Citizens
“A furiously funny, delirious anxiety spiral of a book—a novel of ideas with a bad case of insomnia.” —Hilary Leichter, author of Temporary and Terrace Story

"A ‘Seinfeldian’ take on sibling rivalry . . . hilarious, moving and reflective." —WPR

"Worry is a wonder. A novel you could spend all day in, mesmerised by the unexpected leaps and jumps of its sentences. It is at once gorgeous, hilarious, disturbing, and very, very sad. If you have a sister, are a sister, or wish you had a sister, read Worry." —Jenny Mustard, author of Okay Days

"A dark and laugh-out-loud funny debut about sisterhood, internet poisoning, and suspecting that there is something incurably wrong with you but not wanting to know what it is (relatable!)." —Ruth Madievsky, author of All-Night Pharmacy
"This book is like popping an Adderall and discovering the beauty of your food processor." —Beth Morgan, author of A Touch of Jen
"One of the most exciting literary debuts—and just one of the flat-out best novels—in memory." —David Burr Gerrard, author of The Epiphany Machine 
Product Details
ISBN: 9781668018613
ISBN-10: 1668018616
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date: March 26th, 2024
Pages: 304
Language: English