book cover of What\'s Never Said

What's Never Said

A novel by

It's dangerous to search for an old flame you never got over. What if you find him - and he doesn't remember you? In her captivating new novel, Susan Shapiro explores the perils of revisiting past passion. Lila Penn leaves Wisconsin for graduate school in the big city, where she falls for her professor Daniel Wildman. Decades after their tangled link, she arranges a tete-a-tete in downtown Manhattan. But the shocking encounter blindsides Lila, causing her to question her memory - and sanity. Switching between Greenwich Village and Tel Aviv, the saga unravels the sexual secret that's haunted Daniel and Lila for thirty years.

"Frank, darkly funny, entertaining..."
- New York Times Book Review

"A promiscuously readable guilty pleasure..."
- Elle Magazine

"Funny and original, with a soulfulness
beneath the humor."
- Ian Frazier

"Sly, candid, disarming..."
- Pam Houston

"Shapiro's voice is so passionate and honest,
it's bewitching."
- Erica Jong

"Irresistible energy, winning humor...
breathtakingly frank honesty."
- Philip Lopate

- Gael Greene

Publisher's Weekly, October 2015:
In raw and elegant prose, Shapiro (Five Men Who Broke My Heart) sensitively examines the subject of the one who got away - and what happens when you try to revisit an old romance. When brash, naive graduate student Lila Lerner arrives in New York City from Baraboo, Wisc., she immediately falls for her poetry professor, Daniel Wildman, who is 20 years her senior. As the tale opens, a now-happily married Lila attends the book signing of her former love, and is appalled when he doesn't seem to recognize her. But is his forgetfulness real, or simply a defense mechanism? Shapiro then leads the reader into the past, skillfully illustrating why Daniel's reaction is so upsetting to Lila and even leads her to think that her own memory is faulty. The author deftly toggles through decades, opening in 2010 and often moving to the early '80s, and from New York City to Israel, telling the story from Daniel's point of view as well as Lila's - lending empathy to a character who could have been the stereotypical older man taking advantage of a younger woman. Shapiro's witty, flawed characters leap off the page, showing the before, during, and after of a love affair.

Library Journal, October 15, 2015:
Lila Penn came to New York City from Wisconsin in 1980 as an idealistic young student in a graduate writing program. She fell in love with the city and with her professor and mentor, Daniel Wildman, but their relationship ended abruptly when he left for Tel Aviv. Professor Wildman turned out to be more indecisive than wild, and Lila was very young. Now, 30 years later, both are happily married to other people. But is there still a spark between the former student and her much older professor? Forward to 2010: Wildman has just won a Pulitzer Prize for his writing. Lila nervously decides to go to his reading and book signing, but it doesn't go well. Could it be that her former love doesn't even remember her? This wistful story of love and poetry is told from the viewpoints of both characters, then and now. Shapiro (Overexposed) is especially clever in her portrayal of the petty dramas and rivalries of creative writing programs. VERDICT This wry look back at a complicated and doomed romance is a sophisticated and witty novel about academia and New York publishing. - Leslie Patterson, Rehoboth, MA

Genre: Literary Fiction

Used availability for Susan Shapiro's What's Never Said

Hardback Editions

August 2015 : USA Hardback

Title: What's Never Said
Author(s): Susan Shapiro
ISBN: 1-942762-16-X / 978-1-942762-16-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Heliotrope Books LLC
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   

Paperback Editions

August 2015 : USA Paperback

Title: What's Never Said
Author(s): Susan Shapiro
ISBN: 1-942762-17-8 / 978-1-942762-17-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Heliotrope Books LLC
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   

Kindle Editions

August 2015 : USA, Australia, Canada, UK Kindle edition

Title: What's Never Said
Author(s): Susan Shapiro
Publisher: Heliotrope Books LLC
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU