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A witty, winning, and absorbing debut novel, The Sun in Your Eyes blends emotional nuance and psychological acuity in a music-fueled story of two women and their intense and troubled friendship.

The Sun in Your Eyes has been selected as an Editors' Choice by The New York Times Book Review and as one of the season's best reads by Harper's Bazaar, The Wall Street Journal Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, and Vulture.com, among others. Published in 2016 by William Morrow/HarperCollins, it's available at bookstores and online at IndieBound, Powell's, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.


A novel that shines darkly, like literary glitter. Deborah Shapiro has created a glamorous world of irresistible erudite narcissists and perfectly tousled sociopaths - the people we commonly call ‘artists.’ She’s given that world gravitas by zeroing on the casualties of these personalities - their children. Lee and Viv, for all their efforts at collecting the trappings of adulthood, are still trying to make sense of their intimate, stifling friendship, and the tragedy that has haunted Lee all her life. Two women on a road trip - through romantic, exclusive enclaves on the east and west coasts - trying to untangle the mystery, not only of Jesse Parrish’s death, but how to let go of the damages of their youth - in short, trying to grow up. Shapiro’s prose is elegant, effortless, but it’s her characters that will keep you up late into the night, hoping you can save them, but knowing you can’t.
— Stephanie Danler, New York Times bestselling author of Sweetbitter
The Sun in Your Eyes is a wise, funny and original road novel about female friendship, rock worship, and life in all of its odd turn-offs and detours. Deborah Shapiro’s keen wit and deep compassion give her a dazzling grasp of her complex, passionate characters. This fantastic debut always surprises, always rewards.
— Sam Lipsyte, New York Times bestselling author of The Ask
Put down everything and pick up The Sun in Your Eyes! It’s beguiling, funny, bighearted and true—the perfect summer book. You’re welcome.
— Ann Hood, bestselling author of The Knitting Circle
Deborah Shapiro is ferociously smart and ferociously funny. So is her novel. If Evelyn Waugh, Eve Babitz, Elaine Dundy, and Elaine Benes got together to tell a story about lost legends and lost friendship, it might read just like this: sensitive but unsentimental, lacerating but amused by the louche, poignant and (often) lunatic. It’s inescapably right about both our culture and the ways people need and then don’t need each other, and it’s full of existentially fraught one-liners that I couldn’t help reading aloud to anyone who would listen. Says one of her characters about the alchemy of affinity: ‘She only knew that it felt a lot like this: sitting with someone and wanting to keep sitting with them, to keep hearing what they said.’ Open this book and you’ll feel the same way.
— Carlene Bauer, author of Frances and Bernard
Marital torpor, love triangles, adultery: big themes that Deborah Shapiro touches on in her debut novel about female friendship, The Sun in Your Eyes, but which are really beside the point. Shapiro’s quarry is rarer. She’s after a subtle emotional mix familiar to anyone over 25 — a subset of nostalgia reserved for intense, unresolved relationships we’re trying to outgrow... Shapiro adroitly conveys the women’s complicated intimacy, their shared history and private jokes... [in] this perceptive, carefully layered novel.
— The New York Times Book Review
The novel is honest about the way old friendships are sometimes sustained on nostalgia, and about the hierarchies that exist within them, which here translate into dependencies, seductions and betrayals large and small... Shapiro’s writing is light and lovely, evoking the sun of her title. She allows the 1970s music and the fictional Jesse Parrish to enter the novel lightly, too, through reminiscences, lyrics, clippings and descriptions of photographs. The scene, of the sort once presided over by Ellen Willis, Lester Bangs and Joan Didion, is evoked within the present-day plot as a sort of bright aura. It’s an evocative setting, but the main action remains in the space between Viv and Lee, in their closeness and distance.
— The Washington Post

Buy the Book

The Sun in Your Eyes is available at bookstores and online at IndieBound, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble

About the Author

Learn more about Deborah