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The Pain of Pleasure

Amy Grace Loyd

July 25, 2023

In Amy Grace Loyd’s new novel, The Pain of Pleasure (Roundabout Press 2023), nearly everyone suffers some kind of intense pain. Some find their way to the Doctor, formerly a respected neurologist but now director of a headache clinic in the basement of what was once a Brooklyn church. He experiments with different treatments for a wide variety of migraine sufferers but can’t stop obsessing over Sarah, the patient who suddenly broke off contact with the clinic and disappeared, leaving only a journal that describes her affair with a married man. The Doctor’s salary and the clinic’s costs are underwritten by a wealthy patron, Adele Watson, who, because she believes the doctor was in love with Sarah, is also obsessed. Mrs. Watson hires Ruth, a nurse with her own troubled back story, to spy on the Doctor. And the fragile balance between patient health and trust in The Doctor starts to crumble when a hurricane sweeps through New York, upending or destroying whatever is in its path.

Amy Grace Loyd is an editor, teacher, and author of the novels The Affairs of Others, a BEA Buzz Book and Indie Next selection, and The Pain of Pleasure. She began her career at independent book publisher W.W. Norton & Company and The New Yorker, in the magazine’s fiction and literary department. She was the associate editor on the New York Review Books Classics series and the fiction and literary editor at Playboy magazine and later at Esquire. She’s also worked in digital publishing, as an executive editor at e-singles publisher Byliner and as an acquiring editor and content creator for Scribd Originals. She has been an adjunct professor at the Columbia University MFA writing program and a MacDowell and Yaddo fellow. She lives between New York and New Hampshire. Amy loves to get lost in music, dance wildly to wild music, walk long distances, often with NO PHONE on hand, just the sounds of the world around her as she moves, especially the sounds of trees (she’s made for trees). She is passionate about silence and solitude and kindness in an unkind world. We all have a lot of healing to do these days and she keeps searching for ways to achieve that for herself and others.

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