Garth Greenwell: What Belongs to You

I like books that begin with a lit fuse.... You know a bomb’s going to go off, you know betrayal is in the works. In some sense, that gives the book a freedom to slow down.
— Garth Greenwell

Garth Greenwell joins me to discuss What Belongs to You.

What Belongs to You follows an American teacher, who enters a public bathroom beneath Sofia’s National Palace of Culture. There he meets Mitko, a charismatic young hustler, and pays him for sex. He returns to Mitko again and again over the next few months, drawn by hunger and loneliness and risk, and finds himself ensnared in a relationship in which lust leads to mutual predation, and tenderness can transform into violence.

What Belongs to You won the British Book Award for Debut of the Year, was longlisted for the National Book Award, and was named a Best Book of 2016 by over fifty publications in nine countries. A new book of fiction, Cleanness, is forthcoming from FSG in early 2020.

Buy Garth’s novel What Belongs to You.