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"I don’t know what to think about things unless we talk them out first."
Inseparable friends Val-and-Tal are used to making their decisions together. But what happens when their choices become their own? CHOOSE THIS NOW, a novel-in-stories, illuminates the small moments that shape their lives across nearly twenty years. On Val’s 21st birthday—which falls on Halloween—a sudden act of violence interrupts a longed-for kiss. This unfinished moment haunts Val year after year until she materializes in a new town to confront her past. Tal, an aspiring painter, vacillates between dedicating herself to art and literally burning it all down. As they fall in and out of love, start and restart careers, and become mothers, Valerie and Taline struggle to define themselves, with and without each other. CHOOSE THIS NOW takes on art, labor, romantic love, pregnancy, and parenthood—and the role of friendship in forging a life.
”CHOOSE THIS NOW is a sparkling, intimate look at women’s lives. Haroutunian’s succinct prose and characterizations, her expansive interconnected storylines, and her deft hand in weaving together her themes—friendship, desire, striving, parenting, aging—make for a lovely reading experience. I was sad to leave these women and their ordinary, beautiful lives behind. I like to think of them out there in the world of art, continuing to orbit one another through every stage of our brief time on earth.” – Lydia Kiesling
Nicole Haroutunian is the author of the story collection Speed Dreaming. She lives with her family in Woodside, Queens in New York City.