Rebecca Dinerstein

Rebecca Dinerstein is the winner of the 2015 Wallant Award. She is the author of Lofoten, a bilingual English-Norwegian collection of poems, and The Sunlit Night, her debut novel. She received her B.A. from Yale and her M.F.A. in Fiction from New York University, where she was a Rona Jaffe Graduate Fellow. She lives in Brooklyn. Follow her on Twitter @beckydinerstein and find out more on her website.



Rebecca Dinerstein’s debut novel The Sunlit Night explores the intersection of two young lives: Frances, who flees her claustrophobic childhood apartment in Manhattan and seeks refuge at an obscure Norwegian artist colony; and Yasha, an eighteen-year-old Russian immigrant raised in a bakery in Brighton Beach, who heads north to carry out his beloved father’s last wish to be buried “at the top of the world.” The two meet in Lofoten, an archipelago in the Norwegian Sea. Their unlikely connection fortifies them against the turmoil of their distant homes and teaches them that however far they travel for independence, it is ultimately love that gives them their place in the world.

 A “captivating debut novel…[Dinerstein’s] prose is lyrical and silky, but it’s also specific, with acute observations and precise detail, and she evokes the sun-stroked, barren Norwegian landscape with a striking sense of place. Her descriptions of Yasha’s grief and of the tentative love affair between Frances and Yasha are palpable with loss and yearning. With provocative insights about the cruelty of abandonment, the concept of home, and the limits of parental and filial love, Dinerstein’s novel is a rich reading experience.” — Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review

“Quirky, exuberant . . . An original work of gentle irony counterpoised by delightful sincerity, which offers distinct turns of phrase with precision and beauty.” Wall Street Journal

“The Norwegian Arctic of Dinerstein's imagination is a strange and wonderful place . . . the constant sunlight of midsummer feeds the book's dreamy, surreal quality . . . her narrative style is also dreamlike.” The New York Times Book Review

“Luminous . . . Dinerstein brings a contagious wonder to her storytelling.” ―The Season's Best Literary Fiction, O, the Oprah Magazine

“Darkly charming.” The New Yorker

“Lyrical as a poem, psychologically rich as a thriller, funny, dark, warm, and as knowing of place as any travel book or memoir, The Sunlit Night marks the appearance of a brave talent.” —Jonathan Safran Foer

“A richly imagined and darkly comic story about loneliness and love at the top of the world.” —Jenny Offill

“A poignant exploration of what it means to be alone in love, by a stunningly talented young writer.” —Vanessa Diffenbaugh, author of The Language of Flowers

“Exhilarating…The Sunlit Night gets our appetites up—for more life lived, for love and community, for knowing ourselves, for relief and letting go.  It’s a book you’ll be thankful for reading.” —Jenny Slate

“Dinerstein's deliciously melancholy debut . . . is light and lyrical and her descriptions of the far north are intoxicating . . . A poetic premise with language to match.” Kirkus Reviews

“Readers will delight in the often surprising turns of phrase offered by debut novelist Dinerstein . . . The unusual setting and evocative language will appeal to those looking for a summer read with a bit more depth.”Booklist

“Engaging and alive . . . The Sunlit Night heralds the beginning of an intriguing career in fiction during which Dinerstein will hopefully continue to take us off the beaten path.” Huffington Post

“Funny!” ―#1 Vacay Read: "Stories to pack no matter where you're going", Marie Claire

“Get swept away to remote Norway with Dinerstein's lyrical prose about lovers Frances and Yasha. The sites are picturesque, the love is real, and anything can happen.” ―17 of the Best Books of Summer, Bustle

“10 Must-Read Books for June.”Flavorwire

“Dinerstein has demonstrated a level of mastery that would be impressive even in a much more seasoned writer. The Sunlit Night is a funny, wise and tender story, a near perfect blend of disparate elements.” ShelfAwareness

“Dinerstein's special blend of melancholy and hope renders a character-rich, multifaceted story.” Elle

“This poetically written novel . . . reminds us that love is more important than geography.” New York Post

“Refreshing . . . The author is a poet so the prose is, not surprisingly, lyrical but it's observant and witty, too.” The Daily Mail

“Just spectacular.” HelloGiggles

“Rebecca Dinerstein has created a tale full of lyrically crafted sentences . . . offering an introspective portrait of young adults coping with the backwash of their parents' disintegrating unions.” Library Journal

“It's hard to read The Sunlit Night without feeling as though you're enveloped in warmth, swathed by the author's lyricism and imagery. The sensation is one unique to Dinerstein's hand--and perfectly matched for the sun-soaked Nordic tale of lives intersecting at the top of the world.” Electric Literature

"Extraordinarily captivating . . . Lyrical, often darkly funny . . . Told against the extraordinary backdrop of sun-filled, endless Norwegian days, of the unique and striking colours that seep out and shine through Dinerstein's vibrant, precise, sun-splashed prose."The Irish Times

Rights:   Bloomsbury/Bloomsbury UK, World English; Aschehoug, Norway; China Times, Complex Chinese; Bekad, Turkey; Actes Sud, France