"Much the way Curtis Sittenfeld dug deep into the psyche of a fictionalized version of Laura Bush, in her great novel American Wife, so Montemarano has humanized the [John] Edwards story, allowing us to look far inside at people who had seemed merely to be supporting actors in the larger drama...It's hard to look so deeply into other people's lives that you really understand them, except perhaps through fiction, and that is what Montemarano has done here, with deftness and subtlety."
—Sarah Lyall, The New York Times
"This engrossing, brilliantly structured novel takes a familiar situation—the implosion of a presidential candidate's career—and creates a thing of heartbreaking beauty out of it. In spare and evocative prose, Montemarano brings something to his family tragedy that's become a rarity in Washington—empathy—and turns what could have been a simple story of heroes and villains, of power and disgrace, into a deeply moving story of human connection. By asking whether forgiveness can conquer blame, and whether we might even be able to treat strangers like family, The Senator's Children feels like exactly the kind of novel we need."
—Eric Puchner, author of Last Day on Earth
"When it comes to melodrama, there are three kinds of writers: those who run from it, those who run to it, and those who transform it. Nicholas Montemarano is that last, most rare, most remarkable sort of alchemist, and his new novel, The Senator's Children, is a most rare, most remarkable book. You might begin this novel thinking you recognize the politician and his family therein, but by the end they become something much more magnificent, more mysterious, more empathizable, than the real-life figures they may or may not be based on. Another one-of-a-kind book by one of our most talented fiction writers."
—Brock Clarke, author of The Happiest People in the World
"The Senator's Children is such an effortlessly written book that you can slip into it without noticing the deep and painful and complex alternate reality it represents. Nicholas Montemarano holds up a mirror to our times in this profound meditation on the human cost of politics—a novel that bears reading and rereading."
—Jess Row, author of Your Face in Mine
"The Senator's Children is at once wise and completely absorbing. Montemarano weaves his characters' lives gorgeously through time, balancing heartbreak and levity. A joy to read."
—Julia Pierpont, author of Among the Ten Thousand Things
"What are the personal costs to a politician and the people he loves? In The Senator's Children, Nicholas Montemarano weaves a fascinating and poignant tale about the Christie family and the effects of scandal, loyalty, love, and loss on both public and private lives."
—Jessica Treadway, author of How Will I Know You?
"Poignant and heartbreaking...fully realized and beautifully rendered. This wonderfully affected novel is recommended for all fans of literary fiction."
"Often using only a glimpse of a character and a dusky memory to shape the narrative, Montemarano masterfully exposes the heavy truths that unravel a family, and magnifies the moments that define it."
was born in Brooklyn and grew up in Queens. His third novel, The Senator's Children, was published by Tin House Books in 2017. His previous novels are The Book of Why and A Fine Place. His short story collection, If the Sky Falls, was a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice. His stories have been published in Esquire, Tin House, Zoetrope: All-Story, and many other magazines. His fiction has won a Pushcart Prize and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. He is Alumni Professor of Creative Writing and Belles Lettres at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA, where he lives with his wife and son. His next book, If There Are Any Heavens: A Memoir from the Pandemic, will be published in 2022.
"A brilliant storyteller with a poet's heart." —Claudia Emerson
"An American stylist capable of redeeming our darkest dreams." —Jayne Anne Phillips
"The real thing in a literary landscape of overkill and overhype." —David Means
"A brilliant illuminator of the outer reaches of hope." —Julie Orringer
"One of my favorite contemporary short-story writers...one of the best we've got." —Dan Chaon