Lila Penn came to New York City from
Wisconsin in 1980 as an idealistic young student in a graduate writing program. She fell in love with
the city and with her professor and mentor, Daniel Wildman, but their relationship ended abruptly when he
left for Tel Aviv. Professor Wildman turned out to be more indecisive than wild, and Lila was very young.
Now, 30 years later, both are happily married to other people. But is there still a spark between the former
student and her much older professor? Forward to 2010: Wildman has just won a Pulitzer Prize for his writing.
Lila nervously decides to go to his reading and book signing, but it doesn't go well. Could it be that her
former love doesn't even remember her? This wistful story of love and poetry is told from the viewpoints of
both characters, then and now. Shapiro (Overexposed) is especially clever in her portrayal of the petty
dramas and rivalries of creative writing programs. VERDICT This wry look back at a complicated and doomed
romance is a sophisticated and witty novel about academia and New York publishing.
Witty and riveting.
The Los Angeles Review of Books
A captivating take on how we communicate, miscommunicate, and how the words unspoken can imprison us.
In raw and elegant prose, Shapiro sensitively examines the subject of the one who got away- and what happens when you try to visit an old romance. The author deftly toggles through decades…Shapiro's witty, flawed characters leap off the page, showing the before, during, and after of a love affair.
Shapiro playfully welcomes readers into the world of academia. The ivory-tower satire is entertaining…. Lila and Daniel are vivid characters. Their relationship evocatively captures the power of a formative romance, as they now struggle through nostalgia and regret, proving that a love past is not always a love lost. Kleenex recommended.
Poignant and sly...Shapiro nails the literary scene of Greenwich Village in the 80's.
A witty, poignant novel about poets behaving badly. In What’s Never Said, Shapiro returns to fiction, with a longer, darker edge... a page-turner about a woman stalking her old flame.
Very heady, very sexy, very funny, very Jewish, very New York. Shapiro seems to capture the spaces in-between our thoughts.
Timely and provocative, What’s Never Said examines the insanity and insecurity, pleasure and pain of romantic relationships. With her sharp, witty voice and ability to simultaneously make you laugh, cry and cringe, Shapiro delivers a literary guilty pleasure that's wise, funny and engaging.
I've just finished reading What’s Never Said, and find it amazing. Somehow Susan Shapiro has made What’s Never Said into what she never said and what she alone can say. Crackling dialogue, prose that moves the eye along, page to page. I couldn't put it down.
poet Grace Schulman, author of First Love & Other Adventures
A brilliant novel, tight, perfectly on theme and so insightful. It should be a movie!
Diana Kirschner, best-selling author of Love in 90 Days
Susan Shapiro exuberantly limns love among the ruins (or writing programs!) in her glimmering new page-turner. She gets it all exactly right – the flashing egos, the yearning for connection crossed by the hunger for achievement - and it’s written with sly wit and razor-keen intelligence. It’s sexy and hilarious, but also as haunting as the perfect poem.
Carolyn Leavitt, bestselling author of Is This Tomorrow
What’s Never Said is the work of a master-a fun, charming master. Brilliant dialogue, quick and expert prose, unforgettable characters.
Darin Straus, bestselling author of Half a Life
Shapiro writes about the romantic and creative lives of New York writers the way only a true insider can, nailing all the longings, petty rivalries and genuine passion. What’s Never Said is a fizzy, delicious drink of a novel.
Teddy Wayne, bestselling author of The Love Song of Johnny Valentine
Mining the downtown literary scene, Shapiro strikes comedic gold in this rollicking story of poets behaving badly. It’s all here, the searing verse and sultry trysts, brutal betrayals and enduring friendships. And something else too: a deep, abiding love of the ink-smeared world she so deftly sends up.
David Goodwillie, bestselling author of American Subversive
Susan Shapiro is the Nora Ephron of a new generation. What’s Never Said is poignant, charming and heartbreaking.
Susan Jane Gilman, bestselling author of The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street
Funny and original, with a soulfulness beneath the humor that makes it moving as well. Susan Shapiro is one of the funniest writers about love, marriage and family that I know of today.
Ian Frazier, bestselling author of The Cursing Mommy’s Book of Days
What’s Never Said had me from page one and kept me reading late. A witty, romantic, insightful novel.
Linda Yellin, author of The Last Blind Date
Exploring dueling egos, unspoken desire and the blurry emotional boundaries between teacher and student, What’s Never Said, set largely in the seductive poetry scene of 1980’s Greenwich Village, grabs you from page one. Shapiro writes wistfully of love, lust and heartbreak.
Sally Koslow, author of The Widow’s Waltz
An accessible, funny, pithy fun ride. If you like Mad Men, you'll love What’s Never Said.
Talk show host Catie Lazarus