The Wisdom of Perversity

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“The sly courage, the deft intelligence, and the fierceness of vision that we, his fans, have come to expect from a Rafael Yglesias novel all blaze brightly forth--and cast very dark shadows--in The Wisdom of Perversity.” —Michael Chabon, author of Telegraph Avenue
 
Brian and Jeff were best friends, growing up together in New York City in the late 1960s. Then something unspeakable happened that ended both their friendship and their childhoods. For forty years, their shared secret lay buried, but new circumstances have forced them to face the consequences of their silence. The predator who sexually abused them, as well as Jeff’s cousin, Julie, and countless others, has been exposed by more recent victims, but his wealth and privilege may protect him from punishment. Brian, Jeff, and Julie must weigh devastating choices: to tell all and risk their carefully constructed lives or face the likelihood that others will be victimized.

Rafael Yglesias, critically acclaimed bestselling novelist and screenwriter, unmasks the headlines, giving voice to what has been left unsaid and light to what has been hidden. The Wisdom of Perversity is a startling, engrossing, unsettling, and moving story of surviving an insidious evil and of a triumphant struggle to heal its wounds.
 
“Here is the antithesis of Nabokov’s Lolita . . . Set beside the grim literalness of The Wisdom of Perversity, as beside any case history of sexual abuse, Lolita is a lark, an extravagance, a phantasm of romance, a tour de force, a jubilant metaphor. Yglesias has known the real thing, and has chosen not to refashion it into anything other than itself.” —Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Times Book Review
 
“An affecting novel that is big-screen lurid without being superficial or too slick . . . [with] a touch of Agatha Christie-like mystery.” Kirkus Reviews
 
“Yglesias delivers a powerful message about victimization, healing, and empowerment in a novel that is as timely as it is poignant.” Booklist