The Plot

By Jean Hanff Korelitz
Author: Jean Hanff Korelitz
ISBN: 9781250790767
ON SALE: 05/11/2021

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ISBN: 9781250790767

** New York Times Bestseller ** The Tonight Show Summer Reads Pick **

Hailed as “breathtakingly suspenseful,” Jean Hanff Korelitz’s The Plot is a propulsive read about a story too good not to steal, and the writer who steals it.

Jacob Finch Bonner was once a promising young novelist with a respectably published first book. Today, he’s teaching in a third-rate MFA program and struggling to maintain what’s left of his self-respect; he hasn’t written—let alone published—anything decent in years. When Evan Parker, his most arrogant student, announces he doesn’t need Jake’s help because the plot of his book in progress is a sure thing, Jake is prepared to dismiss the boast as typical amateur narcissism. But then . . . he hears the plot.

Jake returns to the downward trajectory of his own career and braces himself for the supernova publication of Evan Parker’s first novel: but it never comes. When he discovers that his former student has died, presumably without ever completing his book, Jake does what any self-respecting writer would do with a story like that—a story that absolutely needs to be told.

In a few short years, all of Evan Parker’s predictions have come true, but Jake is the author enjoying the wave. He is wealthy, famous, praised and read all over the world. But at the height of his glorious new life, an e-mail arrives, the first salvo in a terrifying, anonymous campaign: You are a thief, it says.

As Jake struggles to understand his antagonist and hide the truth from his readers and his publishers, he begins to learn more about his late student, and what he discovers both amazes and terrifies him. Who was Evan Parker, and how did he get the idea for his “sure thing” of a novel? What is the real story behind the plot, and who stole it from whom?

Jean Hanff Korelitz
Jean Hanff Korelitz is the author of the novels You Should Have Known (which aired on HBO in October 2020 The Undoing, starring Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, and Donald Sutherland), Admission (adapted as a film in 2013 starring Tina Fey), The Devil and Webster, The White Rose, The Sabbathday River and A Jury of Her Peers, as well as Interference Powder, a novel for children. Her company BOOKTHEWRITER hosts Pop-Up Book Groups in which small groups of readers discuss new books with their authors. She lives in New York City with her husband, Irish poet Paul Muldoon.

Praise for Jean Hanff Korelitz

“The best beach book of the year… it’s so fantastic!”

Malcolm Gladwell

“Stephen King is correct in his blurb when he says this is ‘extremely readable.’ … This book moves incredibly fast and will keep you glued to the page until the very end!”


“This literary thriller examines the moral grey areas of plagiarism with wit, prescience and page-turning verve.”

The Financial Times

“Imposter syndrome has never been so thrilling!”

New York Mag - Vulture

“A down-on-his-luck writer, a dead student and a story worth killing for make up the plot of, well, The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz. One of the first thrillers out of the gate this summer, it already has readers buzzing.”

Riley Sager
Parade Magazine

“In Jean Hanff Korelitz’s ingenious thriller, a bestseller becomes a matter of life or death…  Korelitz explores not only the writerly sin of plagiarism but a more widespread issue: the fact that fiction writers, even those who would never plagiarize another writer’s work, often take their material from the lives of others, sometimes those closest to them, and that borrowing can have unexpected consequences. It certainly does in The Plot.”

Tampa Bay Times

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