A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
A San Francisco Chronicle Top 10 Book of 2017
Finalist for the Premio von Rezzori

Named a Best Book of 2017 by over a dozen outlets
including NPR, The Observer, Huffington Post, Harper's Bazaar, 
The Brooklyn Rail, Town and Country, Lit Hub,
Electric Literature, A.V. Club and RTE Ireland.

Named one of the most anticipated books of 2017
by The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly
New York Magazine, The Boston Globe, Huffington Post, The Millions,
Kirkus Reviews, 
and The Observer (UK) 

An IndieNext Selection
A PBS NewsHour / New York Times Book Club Selection
A Vulture Insiders Book Club Pick
A MashReads Book Club Pick

Barnes & Noble


A young woman has agreed with her faithless husband: it's time for them to separate. For the moment it's a private matter, a secret between the two of them. As she begins her new life, she gets word that Christopher has gone missing in a remote region in the rugged south of Greece; she reluctantly agrees to go look for him, still keeping their split to herself. In her heart, she's not even sure if she wants to find him. As her search comes to a shocking breaking point, she discovers she understands less than she thought she did about her relationship and the man she used to love. 

A searing, suspenseful story of intimacy and infidelity, A Separation lays bare the gulf that divides us from the inner lives of others. With exquisitely cool precision, Katie Kitamura propels us into the experience of a woman on edge, with a fiercely mesmerizing story to tell.


"Kitamura is a writer with a visionary, visual imagination and a bold symbolist streak. In A Separation, Kitamura has made consciousness her territory. The book is all mind, and an observant, taut, astringent mind it is. Absence is the  novel's great motif, the subject of its ruminative investigation. How, Kitamura is asking, can a person be bound to someone who isn't really there, and how can she ever truly get free?" —Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker

"The sheer deftness of her storytelling is nothing less than thrilling." New York Magazine

"Katie Kitamura's A Separation should be added to the list of superb novels of romantic endings. A Separation displays Kitamura's stylistic control once again. The writing is lucid, cool, often muted . . . Kitamura creates an atmosphere of dreadful expectation. Violence of all kinds, not just against other bodies but against other minds, remains Kitamura's quarry. A Separation proves that few stalk such game more patiently or more powerfully."
—Anthony Domestico, The San Francisco Chronicle

"A Separation is hewn of taut, sturdy sentences that probe the folds of everyday life . . . As it develops, the interpersonal microcosm Kitamura sketches evolves into a case study of our global, twenty-first century macrocosm - of how the great distances that characterize our digital global village hollow out the connection and intimacy people crave. Everyday life, we are reminded, is the ghostliest realm of all, the province of separation." —Saul Anton, BOMB

"Kitamura weaves a novel of quiet power, mostly due to a narrative voice that is so subtly commanding - so effortlessly self-aware and perceptive, teeming with dry yet empathetic humor - that it's a challenge not to follow her journey in a single sitting." Harper's Bazaar

"Katie Kitamura's taut novel 'A Separation' slowly reveals the secrets that come to the surface as a marriage falls apart ... The prose flows forward, and the author's sense of direction is sure; there is a point to every observation ... There is much more than the Christopher mystery to this taut little novel with its disquieting observations about secrets, lies, and the ways in which we are all impenetrable to each other." —Seattle Times

"Kitamura traces the narrator's thoughts in sentences striking for their control and lucidity, their calm surface belied by the instability lurking beneath. In lieu of certainty, invention begins - almost imperceptibly - to insinuate itself into her consciousness . . . The more the narrator tells us, the less we trust her. And the less we trust her, the more this hypnotic novel compels us to confront the limits of what we, too, can know." — O Magazine

"It is wonderful to read a book that respects its readers in this way; Kitamura allows our imaginations to do much of the work.It left me with an indistinct but unshakeable mood, a sense of being at sea with the knowledge that the shoreline isn't quite where I thought it was, and the currents are strong." —NPR.org

"Kitamura's prose gallops, combining Elena Ferrante-style intricacies with the tensions of a top-notch whodunit." Elle

"This novel has everything I love in a book: love, loss, a journey, and stunning writing." —Lisa Lucas, Martha Stewart Living

"The only thing more mysterious than an unsolved murder, A Separation suggests, are the inner workings of a marriage. Kitamura writes with quiet power . . . her astute psychological analyses will give all readers much to chew on." —Dallas Morning News

"Prepare to feel, well, everything - this is a raw look at an emotionally charged life event." Marie Claire

"Spellbinding." Real Simple

"Brilliantly written."InStyle

"A Separation is less a book about what people are doing and more about what they're thinking. A smart, psychological study of uncertainty" GQ

"A Separation looks poised to be the literary Gone Girl of 2017." The Millions

"Tension looms over a story about fidelity, secrecy, and feeling invisible. Kitamura's style is intoxicating, and alone makes the book worth reading." Huffington Post

"Pitch perfect ... A Separation is an atmospheric and emotionally sophisticated novel that reads like a taut Patricia Highsmith thriller." BBC.com

"Exquisitely wrought . . . Kitamura skillfully draws the cast and setting, creating a Hitchcockian mood."Barnes & Noble Review

"In 229 pages, with a small cast and spare narration, author Katie Kitamura explores the psychological landscape of a woman in a liminal space. This is the central concern of Kitamura's compelling novel: the division between performed roles and our private identities, and at what point these performances consume the lives we should be living." —St Louis Post Dispatch

"Mark your calendar for sleeplessness, because if you're anything like me, you'll read it straight through without stopping ... Kitamura's spare language somehow seems barely able to control the emotion it signifies." LitHub

"Slim and hypnotic, A Separation lays expert claim to the loose ends of a lost relationship and the endless frays they create." Ploughshares

"Incisive, powerful prose. With the propulsive force of a thriller, A Separation ponders the death of a marriage, the enigmatic bond between author and reader, and the imbalance of power of unequal relationships, whether they be literary or romantic." Washington Independent Review of Books

"Quietly devastating…a psychologically rich story. Coolly elegant.” –BookPage

"Electrifying." The Observer [UK]

“A novel so seamless, that follows its path with such consequence, that even minor deviations seem loaded with meaning. Wonderful.” —Karl Ove Knausgaard, author of My Struggle

“A slow burn of a novel that gathers its great force and intensity through careful observation and a refusal to accept old, shopworn narratives of love and loss.” —Jenny Offill, author of Dept. of Speculation

“The burnt landscape, the disappearance of a man, the brilliantly cold, precise, and yet threatening, churning tone of the narrator—make A Separation an absolutely mesmerizing work of art.” —Rachel Kushner, author of The Flamethrowers

“Profound and gripping. I had that rare sense of feeling like I was in a creation specifically made out of words, that couldn't have been made out of any other substance. Kitamura combines the calm complexity of Joseph Conrad with the pacing and reveal of Patricia Highsmith. This novel is a wonder and a pleasure.” —Rivka Galchen, author of Atmospheric Disturbances and Little Labors

"A Separation opens up fissures of ambiguity in emotional experiences too often misunderstood as monolithic—grief, desire, estrangement—and plumbs these crevices for all their complexities. It has both urgency and afterglow: I read it quickly, but didn’t stop thinking about it for a long time once I was done." —Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams

“Tautly austere, lyrical and jarring...For readers seeking profound examinations of challenging relationships . . . Kitamura’s oeuvre will be a compelling discovery.” —Library Journal [STARRED REVIEW]

"A spare and stunning portrait of a marital estrangement... [B]uilds into a hypnotic meditation on infidelity and the unknowability of one's spouse. In precise and muted prose, the entire story unspools in the coolly observant mind of a young woman... A minutely observed novel of infidelity unsettles its characters and readers." —Kirkus [STARRED REVIEW]