July 6, 2020

Reviewed by The New York TimesA Lakeside Family Vacation Goes Awry in This Debut Novel

Associate professor David Poissant will kick off publication day for his debut novel, Lake Life, published by Simon & Schuster, with a virtual book launch on Tuesday, July 7 at 6PM. The event will include a reading, conversation with fellow assistant professor Jake Wolff, and Q&A with the author. This event is free and open to the public.

Register for the virtual book launch here.


  • “A poignant and beautiful debut novel…a remarkable, moving depiction of a family on the brink.” –Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  • “Masterfully crafted…Simultaneously heartbreaking and hilarious, the novel’s brisk pace and perfectly executed moments make for a stunning, unforgettable story…Poissant’s compassion for his characters generates empathy for even their most disastrous actions. A totally engrossing story of the long shadows cast by troubled relationships and the glimmer of hope that dawns after painful confrontation.” —Booklist (starred review)
  • Lake Life establishes Poissant as one of the South’s best writers…a dazzling work so confidently crafted, so keenly perceptive, so deeply compassionate, it’s hard to believe it was written by someone this early in his career.” –Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  • Lake Life is a lyrically inventive and emotionally generous novel. Poissant is a gifted chronicler of the fault lines that lie just below family life.” —Jenny Offill, author of Dept. of Speculation and the New York Times bestseller Weather
  • “A beautiful story about family and especially about the paradox of adult children. Vividly imagined and carefully rendered, Lake Life is both generous and unflinching. I loved every member of this functionally dysfunctional cast.”—Karen Joy Fowler, author of the New York Times bestsellers The Jane Austen Book Club and We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
  • “By turns moving, tender, and wryly funny, this gorgeously-written ensemble novel about the unspoken dreams and secrets and self-deceptions of a middle class family is deeply insightful and rewarding. David James Poissant is a young writer to watch!” —Dan Chaon, author of Ill Will
  • “Told in stirring language, Lake Life is the complex story of contemporary Americans, each dealing with a brand of loss: of children, of youth, of self-control, and of destiny. Here is a book that is heartbreaking and true, lilting and swooping, dark and light, wry and touching.”—Michael Carroll, winner of the 2015 Sue Kaufman Prize and author of Little Reef and Stella Maris