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I Have Some Questions for You: A Novel (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Most of the Island Books staff has read this and loved it! A page turning whodunnit, a return to memories from adolescence, a provoking look at our obsession with violence against women as a spectacle, and the dominant cultures collusion in making it normative. So much going on, and so well told!

— Nancy

March 2023 Indie Next List

“Rebecca Makkai redefines the campus novel for our current times. This was deftly written with such a fresh perspective and clever deconstruction of a murder case, I walked around my apartment fully immersed, book in hand.”
— Kira Wizner, Merritt Bookstore, Millbrook, NY



Named a Best Book of 2023 by The Washington Post, People, USA Today, NPR, Esquire, Good Housekeeping, Real Simple, The Boston Globe, CrimeReads and more

“A twisty, immersive whodunit perfect for fans of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History.” —People 

"Spellbinding." —The New York Times Book Review

"[An] irresistible literary page-turner." The Boston Globe

The riveting new novel — "part true-crime page-turner, part campus coming-of-age" (San Francisco Chronicle) from the author of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist The Great Believers

A successful film professor and podcaster, Bodie Kane is content to forget her past—the family tragedy that marred her adolescence, her four largely miserable years at a New Hampshire boarding school, and the murder of her former roommate, Thalia Keith, in the spring of their senior year. Though the circumstances surrounding Thalia’s death and the conviction of the school’s athletic trainer, Omar Evans, are hotly debated online, Bodie prefers—needs—to let sleeping dogs lie.

But when the Granby School invites her back to teach a course, Bodie is inexorably drawn to the case and its increasingly apparent flaws. In their rush to convict Omar, did the school and the police overlook other suspects? Is the real killer still out there? As she falls down the very rabbit hole she was so determined to avoid, Bodie begins to wonder if she wasn’t as much of an outsider at Granby as she’d thought—if, perhaps, back in 1995, she knew something that might have held the key to solving the case.

In I Have Some Questions for You, award-winning author Rebecca Makkai has crafted her most irresistible novel yet: a stirring investigation into collective memory and a deeply felt examination of one woman’s reckoning with her past, with a transfixing mystery at its heart. Timely, hypnotic, and populated with a cast of unforgettable characters, I Have Some Questions for You is at once a compulsive page-turner and a literary triumph.

About the Author

Rebecca Makkai is the author of the novels I Have Some Questions for You, The Great Believers, The Hundred-Year House, and The Borrower, and the story collection Music for Wartime. A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, The Great Believers received an American Library Association Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, among other honors, and was named one of the Ten Best Books of 2018 by The New York Times. A 2022 Guggenheim fellow, Makkai is on the MFA faculties of the University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe and Northwestern University, and is the artistic director of StoryStudio Chicago. She lives on the campus of the midwestern boarding school where her husband teaches, and in Vermont.

Praise For…

“Thought-provoking, deeply unsettling and undeniably riveting...A fully immersive, addictive whodunit.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“A spellbinding work...[Makkai’s] prose is lean yet lush, with short, incantatory chapters and sentences as taut as piano wire.” New York Times Book Review

“Enthralling...Rich in incident and alive with expressive imagery.” —Wall Street Journal

“A great accomplishment. [I Have Some Questions for You] is at once a campus novel, a piercing reflection on the appeal and ethics of the true crime genre, and a story of Me Too reckoning. It is also the most irresistible literary page-turner I have read in years...Exquisitely suspenseful and enormously entertaining.” —Priscilla Gilman, The Boston Globe

“[I Have Some Questions for You]
embraces the intricate plotting and emotional heft that made [Makkai’s] previous novel, The Great Believers, a Pulitzer finalist...Makkai sharply conveys the insidiousness of misogyny...[and] deftly explores how remembrance can melt into reverie...Her patient, evocative character work prevents Omar and Thalia from becoming types...The result is not a book that leers at a discrete and unfathomable act of violence but one that investigates...‘two stolen lives.’” —The New Yorker

“Vastly entertaining . . . both a thickly-plotted, character-driven mystery and a stylishly self-aware novel of ideas . . . in a twist worthy of Poe, Makkai suggests that the truth alone may not set you free or lay spirits to rest.” —Maureen Corrigan, NPR's “Fresh Air”

“Bewitching.” —Vanity Fair

“[An] addictive page-turner.” —O Quarterly

“As we race through [I Have Some Questions for You], we’re pulled into playing much the same role as Bodie does: trying to piece together the various stories, eagerly awaiting a verdict . . . [Makkai] leaves us to fill in the gaps, to conjure the lurid details from scraps and rumors—trapped in a quest, her agile book reminds us, that should always leave us second-guessing.” —The Atlantic

“A critique of the true-crime obsession and its inherent voyeurism, refracted through everyone’s new favorite storytelling device, the podcast . . . This sense of collective responsibility is the kind of nuance that doesn’t often emerge from the true-crime content mills. In the world of I Have Some Questions for You, however, there’s an insistent hope that the truth still matters, even when it’s complicated—that the right thing might happen despite the near-impossibility of justice in our society.” —The Nation

“Makkai’s powerhouse novel has all the draw and momentum of the wildly entertaining mystery that it is, but lurking behind the plot is a series of escalating existential questions about trauma, memory, and the ever-shifting terrain of the past . . . Makkai brings to the story a vertiginous sensation of falling again and again into new doubts and desires, one that brings to mind Hitchcock at his best and forces the reader constantly to double back and wonder where the story has taken them, really. I Have Some Questions For You is a smart, sophisticated mystery, crafted with verve.” —CrimeReads, “The Best Crime Novels of the Year (So Far)” 

“Somehow, Makkai has managed to pull off a novel that’s simultaneously about the unsettling popularity of true crime, racial inequities in the criminal justice system, post-#MeToo gender politics, 1990s pop nostalgia, and boarding schools, all without ever feeling exploitive or opportunistic. It’s gripping, laugh-out-loud funny, and, most of all, completely honest.” —Publishers Weekly, “The Best Books of 2023” 

“A sleekly plotted literary murder mystery…Makkai has written a complicated whodunit fueled by feminist rage as Bodie relentlessly interrogates her past and recalls the countless murders of girls and women whose stories have been all but lost in our collective memory.” —Associated Press

I Have Some Questions for You asks us to examine many things: high school, the ’90s, privilege, justice, sexual harassment, what we owe the dead. Like the true crime podcasts it’s modeled on, it’s addictive, well told and a little bit unsettling.” Los Angeles Times

“Gripping...a damn good story...[Makkai turns] abstractions of personal, social, and cultural politics into a practical, deeply felt and occasionally even thrilling reality.” —Star-Tribune

“Makkai combines skilled storytelling with abundant human insight. [I Have Some Questions for You] is so well-plotted and thought-provoking that readers may struggle with conflicting impulses to keep turning the pages to find out what happens next or to stop and think about what it all means.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“[Makkai’s] writing is witty and knife-sharp.” —Condé Nast Traveler

“Hits all the high notes, complete with at least a few revelations you won't see coming.” —Good Housekeeping

“[I Have Some Questions for You] calls into question our relationships to memory and power while also challenging readers to reconsider how we think about race, sex, and class.” —Time

“Makkai has crafted an un-put-downable, captivating boarding school mystery novel with podcasting, teaching, race, divorce, parenting, professional drive, and teen dynamics as undercurrents . . . The writing in this book is absolutely A+ sensational. Pure perfection.” —Zibby Owens,

“Makkai’s sleek, beautifully crafted prose and sharp sense of character make I Have Some Questions for You a pleasure to read even as its twisting plot propels us into darkness.” —Tampa Bay Times

“[A] deft murder-mystery . . . Makkai’s poignant mediation on memory and loss is distinguished by clear prose [and] memorable (and flawed) characters.” —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Perfectly illustrate[s] the present mood.” —Dallas Voice

The Secret History meets Serial…[in this] modern campus novel.” —Lit Hub

“Makkai’s triumph of a novel mixes clever storytelling with an exploration of consent, control and memory . . . satisfying and cleverly multi-layered . . . combines the smarts of literary fiction with the thrills of a whodunnit, topped with all the divertissements of the best boarding school-set dramas.” —Financial Times (London)

“[A] skillfully crafted academic mystery.” —PopSugar

“Dark academia meets state of America in this brilliant, original novel.” —Daily Mail

“An enthralling mystery, an interrogation of the past, an entrancing campus novel, I Have Some Questions for You is a propulsive page-turner.” —B&N Reads

“Part boarding school drama, part forensic whodunnit, I Have Some Questions for You is a true literary mystery—haunting and hard to put down.” —Jennifer Egan, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad and The Candy House

“I’ve been waiting years for a book like this! You will laugh, think, think again, cry and stay up all night finishing it. Unputdownable and unforgettable. Makkai has written the book of the season.” —Andrew Sean Greer, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Less and Less Is Lost

“Both a deeply satisfying crime story and a thoughtful, even provocative, novel of ideas, I Have Some Questions for You narrates one woman’s interrogation of her own past while in turn posing difficult questions directly to its reader: about sex, power, privilege, and the ambient violence of contemporary American life. What a feat.” —Rumaan Alam, New York Times bestselling author of Leave the World Behind

“Some books are so universal that they feel bizarrely specific: I read I Have Some Questions for You as if it was written just for me, but I can't imagine who wouldn't love it. Timely, provocative, nuanced, generous—Rebecca Makkai astonishes once again with the perfect combination of brains and heart.” —Laura Lippmann, author of Dream Girl

“Rebecca Makkai’s extraordinary storytelling gifts are on full display in I Have Some Questions for You, a tense, sharply drawn, and impeccably plotted literary mystery and an urgent, propulsive story of the collision of gender, race, and class in a New England boarding school. I loved walking alongside narrator Bodie Kane—angry, obsessive, struggling with her own traumatic memories—in her imperfect attempts to reckon with a past she longs to leave behind.” —Elizabeth Wetmore, New York Times bestselling author of Valentine

“One of the things I love most about Rebecca Makkai’s writing is her absolutely engaging voice; reading her books feels like hearing a well-told story by a longtime friend. This book—through the voice of its beautifully complex narrator, Bodie Kane—brings readers along on a journey they won't forget.” —Liz Moore, New York Times bestselling author of Long Bright River

“Clever and deeply thoughtful . . . a deliciously complex reckoning . . . [I Have Some Questions for You] is sure to be a hit.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review) 

“A thought-provoking and delicious tale of life and death and justice that very well may have gone sideways.” —Library Journal (starred review)

“Engrossing . . . a well-plotted indictment of systemic racism and misogyny craftily disguised as a thriller and beautifully constructed to make its points.” —BookPage (starred review)

“A beguiling campus novel . . . Chilled as the deep New England winters during which it takes place and twisty with the slowly found and then suddenly illuminated branches of memory, Makkai's rich, winding story dazzles from cover to cover.” —Booklist (starred review)

“Every year, I look for the novels that truly respect their victims, and think carefully about the tropes of true crime; for 2023, [I Have Some Questions for You] is that novel.” —Molly Odintz, CrimeReads

“Makkai's novel takes on some of the defining issues of its time [...] without battering readers with them. Instead, Makkai carefully winds her themes around her story's scaffolding, which strengthens her masterly plot even more.” —Shelf Awareness

“[Makkai adds] intriguing layers of complication . . . Well plotted, well written, and well designed.” —Kirkus Reviews

Product Details
ISBN: 9780593490143
ISBN-10: 0593490142
Publisher: Viking
Publication Date: February 21st, 2023
Pages: 448
Language: English