Everyone is Watching
'Beautiful, kaleidoscopic ...everyone should be watching Megan Bradbury from now on' Eimear McBride, Baileys Prize-winning author of A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing New York: A city that inspires. A city that draws people in. A city where everyone is watching, waiting to see what will happen next. 1967. Robert Mapplethorpe knows he is an artist. From his childhood home in Queens he yearns for the heat and excitement of the city, the press of other people's bodies. He wants to be watched, he wants to be known. 1891. Walt Whitman has already found fame, and has settled into his own sort of old age. Still childlike, still passionate, he travels with his friend and biographer Bucke to the city he has always adored, the scene of his greatest triumphs and rejections. 1922. Robert Moses is a man with a vision. Standing on the edge of Long Island he knows what it could become. Walking down a street in Brooklyn he sees its future. He is the man who will build modern New York. 2013. Edmund White is back in New York. It's the city of his youth, of his life and loves. He remembers days of lazy pleasure, nights of ecstasy and euphoria. But years have gone by since then. Everyone is Watching is a novel about the men and women who have defined New York. Through the lives and perspectives of these great creators, artists and thinkers, and through other iconic works of art that capture its essence, New York itself solidifies. Complex, rich, sordid, tantalizing, it is constantly changing and evolving. Both intimate and epic in its sweep, Everyone is Watching is a love letter to New York and its people - past, present and future.
A beautiful and beguiling novel of New York told through the lives of some of those who have defined the city: Robert Moses, Edmund White, Walt Whitman and Robert Mapplethorpe.
I loved it ... Bradbury's writing is beautiful: unusual, intoxicating and bold ... I finished Everyone Is Watching on a high Guardian New York City as a creative catalyst is an enticing subject matter and one that receives a delightfully unexpected treatment in Bradbury's elegant debut GQ A short book with a big bold sweep. It pulses with the life of the great city and rattles along with its energy. -- John Harding Daily Mail A highly original and elegantly written debut ... a genuine attempt to evolve the form of the novel while trying to find a new way to tell a person's story ... one has to applaud the great ambition of this book ... There's a hypnotic effect to the prose and a sense that the author both understands and loves this most complicated of cities ... a fascinating gift ... [Megan Bradbury] is an extraordinary talent. -- John Boyne The Irish Times It's one of the best debuts I've read in years -- Eimear McBride Times Literary Supplement A kaleidoscopic dreamscape of New York seen through the eyes of some of its most celebrated inhabitants ... immersive and compelling ... hypnotic ... dirty, dangerous and delicious, this is a novel that understands the cost of contact and bets on it anyway -- Olivia Laing New Statesman In a narrative about art, creativity and vision, she shows the flair of an artist, capturing snapshots, vignettes of the characters who inhabited New York through the culturally, socially and sexually transformative period from the 1890s through to the present day ... Megan Bradbury's idiosyncrasy and chutzpah are a fitting epitaph to a city that, as F. Scott Fitzgerald put it, has the 'wild promise of all the mystery and beauty in the world' Herald A mesmerising read, Everyone is Watching throws you into the heart of New York Stylist Fascinating novella, almost a work of philosophy ... Bradbury makes connections between people and places, and across time, that are edifying and moving Herald Scotland I have been haunted by Megan Bradbury's debut, Everyone Is Watching, ever since I read an early copy months ago. Through the lives of four historical New Yorkers, it dramatises more powerfully than any other novel I know the interdependence of artistic making and urban life -- Garth Greenwell Guardian Bradbury's idiosyncrasy and chutzpah are a fitting epitaph to a city that , as F Scott Fitzgerald put it, had the "wild promise of all the mystery and beauty in the world" Press Association I like boldness in a writer, and you don't get much bolder than writing a meditative, intertwining narrative of four New Yorkers ... National An impressively original debut ... Everyone is Watching manages to be both intimate and epic at the same time - quite an achievement The Bookseller Vivid, full of deadpan humour and very, very unusual -- Emma Healey, author of Elizabeth is Missing This beautiful, kaleidoscopic imagining of the artists' creation of New York means everyone should be watching Megan Bradbury from now on -- Eimear McBride, Baileys Prize-winning author of A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing Megan Bradbury's daring, urgent novel is a thrilling act of psychic and historical excavation, a profound examination of the relationship between urban spaces and the making of art. A moving portrait of lives linked across time, Everyone is Watching is an important addition to the literature of New York. -- Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You Megan Bradbury writes with the elegance of a Tiffany's diamond and the intensity of Times Square at rush hour. Through the eyes of Robert Mapplethorpe, Walt Whitman, Robert Moses and Edmund White, we experience the passion, heartbreak and soaring ambition that defines New York City. -- Patricia Morrisroe, author Mapplethorpe: A Biography This is a wonderful book, unique and surprising, alive to the energy and mystery of New York, written in language that swings between spare poetry and raw, gnarly sex. -- Joe Dunthorne, author of Submarine A wonderful read ... Everyone is Watching reaches beyond itself in such fascinating ways ... I was left with a much richer sense of New York as a city, and a much deeper sense of the creative life of cities (and people!) in general. So, a very satisfying, thought provoking read indeed. -- Al Robertson, author of Crashing Heaven Sentence by sentence, scene by scene, Everyone is Watching is as beautifully constructed as the city it celebrates. Here is New York through the eyes of its artists, in a novel as striking and memorable and brave as the art it describes. -- Andrew Cowan, author of Worthless Men An astonishing debut novel from a true original, whose talent pours out of these pages. A magical interweaving of New York stories from the perspectives of the architects and artists who made Manhattan in their image and whose loves, schemes, ambitions and dreams all connect through time, pyschogeography and Megan Bradbury's luminous prose. -- Cathi Unsworth, author of Without the Moon Everyone is Watching is an astonishing debut. Megan Bradbury has written a subtle and powerful novel of New York, its architects, artists and - her greatest achievement - the consciousness of the city itself. -- Jean McNeil, author of The Ice Lovers Illuminating ... It sends you back to its sources while demanding that you read on. -- David Flusfleder, author of The Gift A first novel by a talented young writer ... written with imagination, great assurance and a painterly eye, it builds up a fine portrait of the city Scotsman Bradbury has this astonishing ability to capture a lifetime in a line and to evoke the tangibility of longing in the human heart. Everyone is Watching in an exquisite orchestra of lyrical narrative that deserves a book-prize recognition Attitude Megan Bradbury's epic feels like a love letter to the city ... an intimate, elegant and sweeping novel of such depth and richness, you'll feel energised and rejuvenated by the power the individual has on the personality of a city Reader's Digest Speculative and daring, by turns brash, brutal, tender and elegiac, Everyone is Watching is a love song - one that is as protean, multifaceted, elusive and captivating as the city that is at its heart. Written in a direct, spare prose, it is ambitious and brave, a virtuoso performance. Evening News Everyone is Watching offers a fascinating glimpse into a creative world BBC Arts Online
Megan Bradbury was born in the United States and grew up in Britain. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. In 2012 she was awarded the Charles Pick Fellowship at UEA and in 2013 she won an Escalator Literature Award and a Grant for the Arts to help fund the completion of her first novel, Everyone is Watching.