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Katie Kitamura’s latest novel, Intimacies, longlisted for the National Book Award, follows an unnamed interpreter who has recently moved from New York to The Hague where she works at the International Court. There, the interpreter is caught at the intersection of a variety of people’s private lives. There’s Adriaan, the man she’s been seeing who claims his marriage is over. There’s Jana, her colleague who happens to witness a bizarre violent act. And there’s the sister of the victim of that violence who the interpreter decides to befriend. We get to know these characters through the eyes of the interpreter whose dry observations and fragmented thoughts reveal a larger portrait of heartbreak, lust and longing. Throughout, Kitamura’s tight prose guides us through this narrator’s mind as she navigates it all.

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