1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $24.50

Buy for $24.50

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

In her first novel since the Pulitzer Prize-nominated The Quick and the Dead, the legendary writer takes us into an uncertain landscape after an environmental apocalypse, a world in which only the man-made has value, but some still wish to salvage the authentic.

"She practices ... camouflage, except that instead of adapting to its environment, Williams’s imagination, by remaining true to itself, reveals new colorations in the ecology around her.” —A.O. Scott, The New York Times Book Review

Khristen is a teenager who, her mother believes, was marked by greatness as a baby when she died for a moment and then came back to life. After Khristen’s failing boarding school for gifted teens closes its doors, and she finds that her mother has disappeared, she ranges across the dead landscape and washes up at a “resort” on the shores of a mysterious, putrid lake the elderly residents there call “Big Girl.”

In a rotting honeycomb of rooms, these old ones plot actions to punish corporations and people they consider culpable in the destruction of the final scraps of nature’s beauty. What will Khristen and Jeffrey, the precocious ten-year-old boy she meets there, learn from this “gabby seditious lot, in the worst of health but with kamikaze hearts, an army of the aged and ill, determined to refresh, through crackpot violence, a plundered earth”?

Rivetingly strange and beautiful, and delivered with Williams’s searing, deadpan wit, Harrow is their intertwined tale of paradise lost and of their reasons—against all reasonableness—to try and recover something of it.

©2021 Joy Williams (P)2021 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

PEN/JEAN STEIN BOOK AWARD FINALIST • Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist • ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, Vogue, and more 

“A magnificent and moving novel [that excavates] the middle distance between silence and experience . . . Harrow is a piece of writing in the vein of Samuel Beckett or Franz Kafka, its humor weaponized by rage.” —David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times

“The ridiculous, pigheaded, bemused, endlessly distracted and continuously self-sabotaging state of the future is the subject of this wonderfully goading satire . . . A blackly comic portrait of futility . . . This is sarcasm of a high, artistic order, reminiscent of no one quite so much as William Gaddis.” —Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal
 

“Williams’s tone achiev[es] a new, perfectly hostile register . . . [Her] vision of an annihilated earth seems to have flown from the brain of Francisco Goya . . . As the novel continues, it plumbs ever-deeper zones of dystopian weirdness . . . She practices a kind of hallucinogenic realism, which takes at face value the psychological flights of characters deranged by loss . . . Williams has long written to the side of conventional English, pursuing a form that feels more commensurate with actual experience—with the terror, comedy, and mystery of moving through the world.” —Katy Waldman, The New Yorker

What listeners say about Harrow

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    9
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    3
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    17
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    2
Story
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    9
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    3

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wow

I am not intelligent enough to do this book justice (or probably to have understood properly 1/10 of the illusions or crafty wordplay in the novel). But it leaves you with a deeper feeling for where we are and where we’re going as humans.

Finishing this book is like waking from a fever dream to a better understanding of the world.

3 people found this helpful