Set in 1990s New York, Slow Reveal paints an extraordinary portrait of artists who defy the arbiters of culture and challenge social norms. Art, addiction, and family dynamics capsize the Kanes when they discover the parallel life of Katharine, film editor, mother, lover, and wife.
“A poem is never finished, only abandoned,” wrote Paul Valéry, an outcome echoed in her decade-long affair with Naomi, a lesbian poet. Katharine’s marriage to Jonathan collapses in his struggle with sobriety when he’s ostracized for politicizing art and abandons his career for advertising. Faced with confrontations from her two grown daughters, an installation artist and an aspiring writer, Katharine hangs onto her former life. When unforeseen tragedy strikes, devotion and commitment are not the guardrails that keep their work or relationships on track but rather a form of entrapment.
A captivating story about relevance at the end of the 20th century, the novel questions the voracious demands of contemporary society through a riveting portrayal of turbulent family life, impacted by art shaped by the media and influenced by social and political injustice. Success is redefined by the courage to embark on the artistic process, as risky, messy and unpredictable as building intimacy and trust in love.
“Loving is an art in Melanie Mitzner’s ambitious debut about a discordant family of eclectic artists whose lives are thrown into question with an unexpected death. Told with compassion and intelligence, this poignant tale of love, longing and addiction provides a vivid look into the lives of talented and troubled creators, each yearning for relevance and lasting connection.”
—Christopher DiRaddo, author of The Family Way and The Geography of Pluto
“A joy to read and so hard to say “goodbye” to this cast of characters as I came to the end of Slow Reveal. Mitzner utterly succeeds in telling this intricate story of two women, a poet and a film editor, in which the literary and filmic slow reveal of the title sustains the reader’s interest from start to finish. Deeply philosophical and profoundly human, one is drawn into the lives of a multi-generational New York family in which making art, and living a life well-lived, are investigated with heart, intelligence and passion. Slow Reveal is a quiet and urgent page-turner about devotion and intimacy, and what it means to find love and meaning in the process of becoming increasingly true to oneself through the years.”
—Carolyn Boll, poet, curator, author of Social Dance, a Book of Ballroom Poetry
“Melanie Mitzner’s latest novel is a sensual, slow reveal of love’s narcotic qualities, our inability to swear off it, even as it weakens us. We’re plunged into the lives of characters bound by family as they free-fall in richly physical and symbolic worlds. The constant low hum of erotic tension sings to the cravings that course through us.”
—April Ford, author of Carousel, 2020 International Book Awards Winner for LGBTQ Fiction
“As the former Canadian director of French publisher Albin-Michel, I worked on French translations of some very talented authors, including Guy Vanderhaghe, Dan Chaon and David Treuer. When Melanie Mitzner’s Slow Reveal was presented to me, I read with great pleasure the literary work. There was much to admire in her narrative skills and the emotional integrity of her characters. Her novel was so captivating I could not put it down.”
—France Desroches, Former Canadian Director, Albin-Michel
“Slow Reveal lovingly combines the powers of the creative drive and bonds of family, original and chosen. I read this in one sitting, way beyond my bedtime. Brava, Melanie Mitzner.”
—Floyd Memorial Library Director Lisa Richland (retired)