Professor of English Melanie Conroy-Goldman’s debut novel The Likely World continues to garner praise through print, podcasts and virtual events.
Parade Magazine sorted through hundreds of books to name The Likely World one of this fall’s 14 most compelling covers, “perfect for your coffee table or #bookshelfie,” while the novel landed on a list of recommended reading from the editors of the award-winning literary journal Ploughshares.
In Ploughshares, novelist Peter Ho Davies praises Conroy-Goldman’s “gritty, street postmodernism” that recalls David Foster Wallace or Philip K. Dick, but notes that it’s “her depth of feeling, about love and motherhood, that lingers.”
The Likely World will be featured in two upcoming podcasts, Creative Brookline in November and Downtown Writers Jam (date TBA), and Conroy-Goldman will participate in a virtual event hosted by the Politics and Prose bookstore in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 17 at 6 p.m. The “Literary Crushes” panel features five Red Hen Press authors as they “discuss crushes in fiction, confess their own and even share some recipes for love potions.” Register for the free event here.
Conroy-Goldman has also published two companion pieces to The Likely World, “In Praise of Teenagers” on Medium’s Human Parts and “Likely Morningstar” on PB Daily, a publication of the Jewish Book Council.
The Likely World follows single mom Mellie, who has just emerged from a shattering 20-year addiction to the memory drug, cloud, when a stranger who may be her baby’s father appears with a dangerous agenda. When her pursuit of this man and the past they may share threatens her sponsor, Mellie will have to put her tiny family and her recovery at risk in hopes of saving the woman who saved her first.
In the July/August 2020 issue of Vanity Fair magazine, author Lysley Tenorio recommends The Likely World, writing: “Present and past collide, themes of motherhood and sex clash — a mesmerizing novel unlike anything I’ve read.” Pen-Faulkner and National Book Award nominee Mary Gaitskill calls it a “bizarre and beautiful” book, “equal parts brainy lit and gut-bucket pulp.”
A founding director of the HWS Trias Residency for Writers, Conroy-Goldman’s fiction has been published in journals such as Southern Review and StoryQuarterly, in anthologies from Morrow and St. Martin’s and online at venues such as McSweeney’s. In addition to her teaching duties at HWS, she volunteers at a maximum-security men’s prison with the Cornell Prison Education Program. Her work is represented by Bill Clegg at the Clegg Agency. She lives in Ithaca, N.Y. with her husband, daughter and stepdaughters.