For readers of Modern Lovers and Conversations with Friends, an addictive, humorous, and poignant debut novel about the shock waves caused by one couple’s impulsive marriage.
‘A tender, devastating and funny exploration of love and friendship and the yearning for self-evisceration. Coco Mellors is an elegant and exciting new voice’ PANDORA SYKES, author of How Do We Know We’re Doing It Right
New York is slipping from Cleo’s grasp. Sure, she’s at a different party every other night, but she barely knows anyone. Her student visa is running out, and she doesn’t even have money for cigarettes. But then she meets Frank. Twenty years older, Frank’s life is full of all the success and excess that Cleo’s lacks. He offers her the chance to be happy, the freedom to paint, and the opportunity to apply for a green card. She offers him a life imbued with beauty and art—and, hopefully, a reason to cut back on his drinking. He is everything she needs right now.
Cleo and Frank run head-first into a romance that neither of them can quite keep up with. It reshapes their lives and the lives of those around them, whether that’s Cleo’s best friend struggling to embrace his gender identity in the wake of her marriage, or Frank’s financially dependent sister arranging sugar daddy dates after being cut off. Ultimately, this chance meeting between two strangers outside of a New Year’s Eve party changes everything, for better or worse.
Cleopatra and Frankenstein is an astounding and painfully relatable debut novel about the spontaneous decisions that shape our entire lives and those imperfect relationships born of unexpectedly perfect evenings.
Coco Mellors was raised in London and New York City. She completed her MFA in Fiction at New York University, where she was a Goldwater Fellow. Cleopatra and Frankenstein has been translated into over ten languages and is being developed for television by Warner Bros. She lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband.
”'Positively inhalable. I was intensely consumed by the world of Cleopatra and Frankenstein for a few happy days” - The Evening Standard
”'Friends who couldn’t get enough of Sally Rooney’s Conversations with Friends will fall head over heels for Coco Mellor’s debut novel” - ES Magazine
”'Cleopatra and Frankenstein, the luminous debut novel from Coco Mellors, is a book about many things: It's a great, swooning love story; a shattering depiction of how addiction and mental illness warp our lives; and a perceptive, witty portrait of globalized New York. But most of all, Mellors has written a devastatingly human book, at turns sharp and tender, that marks her as the rare writer whose sentences are as beautiful as they are wise. An unforgettable read” - Sam Lansky, author of The Gilded Razor and Broken People
”'A character driven epic thoroughly engrossing and entirely magnificent. It is thrilling to read a book that articles with nuance and compassion the way gender impacts every part of our lives. Sometimes you can just tell that a debut novel has been percolating and perfecting inside an author's mind until it is ready to leap into-and ultimately change-the world” - Adam Eli, author of The Queer Conscience
”'Mellors’ remarkably assured and sensitive debut … strongly evoke[s] Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life… At its core, it’s a novel about how love and lovers are easily misinterpreted and how romantic troubles affect friends and family. A canny and engrossing rewiring of the big-city romance.'” - Kirkus Reviews, starred review
”'Insistent, stylish and utterly captivating, the prose just sings.” - Heidi James, author of, The Sound Mirror