Amy Grace Loyd's debut novel a meditation on grief

'The Affairs of Others' by Amy Grace Loyd
Book cover courtesy of publisher

Amy Grace Loyd has spent years in the publishing world. She was the fiction and literary editor at Playboy magazine and is currently the executive editor at Now she is out with her own novel, "The Affairs of Others."

Loyd's novel tells the story of a woman who turns all of her obsessive focus into being a landlord after her husband dies.

In an interview with Stet, Loyd said she wrote some of the novel while riding on the R train in New York City, trying to get away from the workday voices and characters.

"I wanted to live with a voice different from the voices around me, voices that were part of a workaday magazine world and thus about deadlines and deals and e-mailing and Twitter and so on," she said. "I wanted to engage with a story in which the heroine decides her own story is over in certain ways. In the first few pages, she tells you, 'American life asks us to engage in an act of triumphant recovery at all times or get out of the way. I have been happy to get out of the way.' She wants quiet and boundaries drawn and has no care anymore for convention or its dictates."

From Vanity Fair's review:

From start to finish, Lloyd's prose flows exquisitely through the story, as she limns the depths of the protagonist's mind, the complexity of human intimacy, and the idiosyncrasies of each new character with the grace of a seasoned novelist. We unearth the subtexts, analogies, and larger meanings not far from the surface of her debut, which sometimes teeters on the edge of over-dramatization. But the novel's message is no less forceful for its transparency: in life, we can no more deny the legacy left behind by those who meant the most to us than we can live free from basic human interaction. Such is our lot.

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