Reviews

  • "Wood can produce sentences as fine as bone china."

    Claire Allfree, Daily Mail
  • "Those who know Wood as the New Yorker's literary critic would do well to pick up his novels, too. Upstate is a funny, moving family drama."

    GQ
  • "Captures the anxious plight of a loving father with exquisite delicacy … Its affections are large and its wisdom deep … One can’t help but feel enriched by the treasure of Wood’s sweet-tempered wit."

    Ron Charles, Washington Post
  • "Its energy derives from feted critic James Wood's observational chops, and you can expect muscular descriptions ... and modest, deeply humane revelations ... Polished, poignant and often very funny."

    Hephzibah Anderson, Mail on Sunday
  • "Uncharted physical and emotional terrain collide in James Wood’s thoughtful and thought-provoking second novel Upstate, a deceptively gentle exploration of the wounds of the past, the complex mesh of family relationships and the ways in which they aid or obstruct our strategies for healing … stubbornly true to life."

    Rebecca Abrams, Financial Times
  • "Wood's insightful novel is short but deep, possessing the openness of a short story … The writing is beautiful, the location snow-crunchingly real … A quietly engrossing read."

    Ella Walker, Herald
  • "Moving... Perfectly pitched by Wood."

    Ben Hamilton, Spectator
  • "[James Wood] has a canny eye for detail, writes a good metaphor ... and sets his scenes meticulously."

    James Marriott, The Times
  • "There is much to admire [in Upstate]... flashes of brilliance at sentence level... This is how fiction works."

    David Annand, Literary Review
  • "Upstate, a new novel by the literary critic James Wood, asks readers to consider a fundamental question: can one think one’s way into happiness? ... Everything [Wood] does is underscored by humour. A great strength of Upstate is its general snap and vigour, and one sees this across Wood's criticism, too."

    Emma Brockes, Guardian