This Is It

Matthew Fox

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Giovanni Zappacosta-O’Hara suspects that there’s more to his family’s legacy than he’s been told. His parents recount the history in devastating, scandalous, and rollicking stories, while Gio and his boyfriend joke that there must be lies woven into the details. When his boyfriend is struck with cancer, the laughter stops. Gio can’t bear watching the disease eat away his life, his sanity, and the person he loves. Full of shame, he flees to New York, using his family history as a feeble excuse—he’s going to get to the bottom of it. What happens next forces Gio to confront his cowardice and find a different motivation for his book: redemption. As he retells the stories, he discovers family secrets that make him question his identity. The hilarious and heartfelt characters he finds along the way give him surprising chances to get over himself—but will he take them?

 

Advance Praise for This Is It

 

“Matthew Fox’s This Is It—about the stories and secrets that bind families and lovers—is nothing less than a modern masterpiece. Gut-wrenching, sharply observed, and deeply funny, the novel excavates generations of Zappacosta family lore to take the reader on an emotional journey unlike any other. Each sentence is a gift, wrapped in Matthew’s gorgeously dry wit. A tour de force that will leave you breathless!” — Carley Fortune, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Meet Me at the Lake and This Summer Will Be Different

 

“A novel-in-stories, and also a novel about stories: how, when they run up against the limits of what’s verifiably true, love and empathy can still carry them across the finish line. Matthew Fox has written a family saga that’s as formally inventive as it is funny and tender.” Jonathan Dee, Pulitzer Prize-nominated author of The Privileges, Sugar Street, and Palladio

 

“I’ve never read anything like This Is It. No secret can ultimately withstand the brilliant and unusual way this family epic unfolds, especially not when an unruly queer is looking into the genealogy. The cast inhabit a kingdom where laughing at tragedy is sometimes the only way through. Bold and unforgiving, but never without empathy—This Is Is will take you to totally unexpected places.” Daniel Allen Cox, author of I Felt the End Before It Came, Mouthquake, Shuck, and Basement of Wolves

 

“Like our inscrutable families, like our most bedeviling love affairs, This Is It is a puzzle that reveals itself in bursts of insight, tender and startling revelations and self-implications, and in the everyday intimacies that form our messy, complicated lives. A wise, honest, and beautifully constructed novel.”Christopher Castellani, author of Leading Men

 

This Is It is a consistently surprising unraveling of one family’s history that immerses us in a propulsive journey spanning decades. Author Matthew Fox will leave you both profoundly moved and deeply entertained, wishing you could spend a little more time in the saga he’s so tenderly offered to us. A delicious, queer wonder of a book.” Peter Knegt, author of About Canada: Queer Rights and host of Here & Queer

 

“Brimming with heart and humour, Matthew Fox’s This Is It is an epic family drama that spans (and skewers) the generations. It’s bold, clever, queer, and sexy. The novel-in-stories moves at a clip and stings with its emotional honesty. A musical masterwork that examines the boundaries of love and bravery.” Christopher DiRaddo, author of The Family Way

 

This Is It moves through multiple cities, decades, and historical moments to excavate both gut-punching emotional trauma and domestic farce, as its many characters use dialogue to wound one other and to shield themselves from hurt. Fox has the rare ability to be heartbreaking and hilarious in a single line.” Nathan Whitlock, author of Lump and Congratulations On Everything

 

“In the exquisitely rendered world of This Is It, being young doesn’t mean you have a future, being old doesn’t mean that you’re known, and being family doesn’t always mean that you’re loved. Matthew Fox’s novel brings us an urgent and contemporary take on the intergenerational family saga — you don’t dare miss it.” — Matthew J. Trafford, author of The Divinity Gene: Stories

 

“Keenly observed and punctuated with wry wit, Matthew Fox’s This Is It offers a moving meditation on queer love and loss. These interweaving, intergenerational stories are a stunning act of literary unearthing, examining the families we’re born into and the ones we choose through an unvarnished, but not unkind, lens. Fox has crafted a gripping read filled with fierce tenderness and aching poignancy.” K.R. Byggdin, author of Wonder World

Matthew Fox

Matthew Fox

Matthew Fox is the author of the story collection Cities of Weather. He grew up in Ontario, before moving to Montreal, London and New York, where he received his MFA in Creative Writing from The New School. His work has appeared in Grain, The New Quarterly, Big Fiction, Toronto Life and Maisonneuve. He currently lives in Berlin.

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