Krithika Varagur at The Paris Review:
I picked up Nancy Lemann’s Lives of the Saints from a sidewalk pile in Greenpoint in October 2020, just a few minutes before it started raining in sheets. I read the novel in one sitting when I got home. The next day, I lent it to a friend with whom I was crashing for a few weeks. She returned it twenty-two months later, at the beach. Before we even left Fort Tilden I found myself lending it out to another friend. I’m not very generous with books, to be honest, but for some reason, this novel, like an early-aughts chain email, demands to be forwarded. It is a short book, which makes it a good loan to a friend, because you can jointly anticipate a sense of accomplishment. And it may then become a field guide to certain shared experiences of Youth—allowing you both to observe, for instance, on a summer night when everyone around you is having Breakdowns, that this is exactly like Lives of the Saints.