Old Flame (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Old Flame had me hooked from its unique opening paragraph all the way to the end. This book is a love letter to womanhood and her many roles – mother, daughter, partner, friend, and her many choices – Should I quit my job to pursue a passion? Would I make a good mother? Should I just move to Greece and start over? Old Flame details the love, exhaustion, heartbreak, and worry every woman feels. It explores the complexity, joys, thrills, and contradictions of contemporary womanhood set in our patriarchal, capitalist society.
—Abby Lindemann, Snail Readers Circle

— From Readers Circle Recommendations


The author of the “ethereal and brutally realistic” (The New York Times) Tuesday Nights in 1980 returns with a highly anticipated new novel exploring what it means to be a woman in her many forms—daughter, friend, partner, lover, and mother.

Emily writes for women’s catalogs for a living, but she’d rather be writing books. She has a handsome photographer boyfriend, but she actively wonders how and when they will eventually hurt each other. Her best work friend Megan is her lifeline, until Megan is abruptly laid off. When her world is further upended by an unplanned pregnancy, Emily is forced to make tough decisions that will change her life forever.

What will she sacrifice from her old life to make room for a new one? What fires will she be forced to extinguish, and which will keep burning? Old Flame is a story about the essential—and often existential—choices that define a woman’s life at every level, from which dress to wear to when to have a child to how to be in the world.

About the Author

Molly Prentiss is the author of Tuesday Nights in 1980, which was longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, and shortlisted for the Grand Prix de Littérature Américaine in France. Her writing has been translated into multiple languages. She lives in Red Hook, New York, with her husband and daughter. You can find her at Molly-Prentiss.com or on Instagram @MollyPrentiss.  

Praise For…

“A stylish and sharp look at one woman’s attempt to balance the competing interests of her work and life. A balm for anyone overwhelmed with contradictory desires.” – Kiley Reid, New York Times bestselling author of Such a Fun Age

“Molly Prentiss is a deeply empathic noticer who never fails to articulate the brutal, beautiful unseen elements of life. The kind of writing that elicits that involuntary kind of moan of recognition.”—Marie-Helene Bertino, author of 2am at the Cat's Pajamas and Parakeet

"Old Flame is amazing—a warmhearted and luminous page-turner about desire, time, love, parenthood, work, and art in women’s lives. What a woman invents of herself, what the world demands she be, and the stories she tells to find her many selves across a lifetime are considered with both the scorching verve of Elena Ferrante and the frank humor of Maria Semple. This unforgettable book is a love letter to love itself, to how hard and wonderful life is, and to finding home, in all its thrilling, changing forms, ever mysterious and known." —Sophie McManus, author of The Unfortunates

"Old Flame asks all the important questions: What if women are people? What if relinquishment of the Self is a good thing? How does a person make good on the past while charting a future? What does it mean to no longer be young?" —Elisa Albert, author of Human Blues 

Product Details
ISBN: 9781501121586
ISBN-10: 1501121588
Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press
Publication Date: April 11th, 2023
Pages: 320
Language: English