This hilarious retelling of George Gissing’s satirical masterpiece New Grub Street takes a biting look at the contemporary literary marketplace. Eddie Renfros, on the brink of failure after his critically acclaimed first book, wants only to publish another novel and hang onto his beautiful wife, Amanda, who has her own literary ambitions and a bit of a roving eye. Among their circle are writers of every stripe—from the Machiavellian Jackson Miller to the ‘experimental writer’ Henry Baffler, who lives in squalor while seeking the perfect sentence. Amid an assortment of scheming agents, editors, and hangers-on, each writer must negotiate the often competing demands of success and integrity, all the while grappling with their inner demons and the stabs of professional and personal jealousy. The question that nags at them is this: What is it to write a novel in the twenty-first century?


Skewers the publishing world with an insider’s perspective.

Elise Blackwell moves into the front rank of American satirists…An uproarious lampoon of the American drive for success…We are grateful that Blackwell is a writer who always rewards our attention by delighting us.
San Francisco Chronicle

The pressures of and on 21st-century literary creativity…are portrayed with biting and often gleefully hilarious truth.
Library Journal *Starred Review

Grub is a mordantly witty, thoroughly stimulating absolutely wonderful, satire of the New York literary world and of the price of being a literary success in America. Elise Blackwell’s writing shines. She has the wit and polish of the hilarious early novels of Aldous Huxley and Evelyn Waugh.
The Islamorada Free Press

This biting remake of George Gissing’s 1891 novel New Grub Street… nails the contemporary forms taken by some very old ambitions.
Publishers Weekly

A darkly comic morality tale… good on the myriad cruelties of a market in which writers have slipped to the lowest rung…and sharp on the realities of a conglomeratised publishing industry, where deals with retailers make a seismic difference to writers’ lives.
Financial Times of London

Elise Blackwell’s sharp and fluent Grub…offers an unvarnished study of the writer’s lot.
Times Literary Supplement

Grub is a smart, illuminative and even inspiring novel for anyone interested in the creative and commercial dimensions of fiction.
Durham 21