What You Could Have Won

What You Could Have Won

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Fame is the only thing worth having. Love is temporary brain damage. Or so thinks Henry Sinclair, a failing psychiatrist, whose career-breaking discovery has been pinched by a supervisor smelling of nipple grease and hot-dog brine. An emotional miser and manipulator par excellence, desperate for the recognition he's certain his genius deserves, Henry claws his way into the limelight by transforming his girlfriend--a singer-in-ascendance, beloved for her cathartically raw performances--into a drug experiment. As he systematically works to reinforce feelings of worthlessness while at the same time feeding off Astrid's fame, and as Astrid collapses deeper into dependence, what emerges is a two-sided toxic relationship: the bullying instincts of a man shrunk by an industry where bullying is currency, and the peculiar strength of a star more comfortable offloading her talent than owning her brilliance. Pinging between their apartment in New York (where they watch endless episodes of The Sopranos), a nudist campsite in Greece (where the tantalizingly handsome Gigi thwacks octopuses into the sand), and a celebrity rehab facility in Paris (founded by the cassock-wearing and sex-scandal plagued 'artist' Hypno Ray), What You Could Have Won is a relationship born of regrettable events, and a novel about female resilience in the face of social control.



Author: Rachel Genn
Publisher: And Other Stories
Published: 11/03/2020
Pages: 276
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 0.60lbs
Size: 7.70h x 5.00w x 0.80d
ISBN: 9781911508861

Review Citation(s):
Kirkus Reviews 08/15/2020
Publishers Weekly 09/28/2020
Foreword 10/26/2020
Booklist 11/01/2020 pg. 19

About the Author

Rachel Genn is a neuroscientist, artist and writer who has written two novels: The Cure (2011) and her US debut, What You Could Have Won (2020). She was a Leverhulme Artist-in-Residence (2016), creating The National Facility for the Regulation of Regret, which spanned installation art, VR and film (2016-17). She has written for Granta, 3: AM Magazine, and Hotel, and is working on Hurtling, a hybrid collection of essays about the neuroscience, art and abjection of artistic reverie. She's also working on a binaural experience exploring paranoia, and a collection of non-fiction about fighting and addiction to regret. Genn works at the Manchester Writing School and the School of Digital Arts, both at Manchester Metropolitan University, and lives in Sheffield, England.