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So rarely do words make comprehensible the inevitability and confusion of desire and determination as Garth Greenwell’s writing does. His sensibility is akin to James Baldwin’s, and he observes the world with eyes like those of Tolstoy. With shimmering prose and undiluted intensity, Cleanness captures the indefinableness of pain and intimacy, love and alienation, vulnerability and sustainability.” – Yiyun Li

In Cleanness, I found an end to a loneliness I didn't know—until now—how to describe. Greenwell maps the realms our language walls off—sex, love, shame and friendship, the foreign and the familiar—and finds the sublime. There are visceral shocks like I've never encountered in print, and they delighted me, again and again. With each plunge we take beneath the surface of life, lost and new worlds appear. This could only be the work of a master.” – Alexander Chee

Garth Greenwell is an intensely beautiful and gorgeous writer. I can think of no contemporary author who brings as much reality and honesty to the description of sex—locating in it the sublime, as well as our deepest degradations, our sweetness, confusion, and rage. Most American literature seems neutered by comparison. His perfect noticing extends to the way we experience love and loneliness, the feeling of exile, and the eternal search for home—wherever, or in whomever, that may be found. I am always recommending Garth Greenwell to everyone.” – Sheila Heti

Cleanness reaches into the relationship between masculinity and violence with more depth than any book I’ve read in a very long time, and it does it by elaborating both the tender and brutal means that men who try to love other men employ to survive the violence they inherited and the violence they still possess. It is, in the best sense, a disturbing book for the simple reason that it speaks the truth.” – Adam Haslett

“Cleanness is an impressive book: moving, radical, both beautiful and violent, unexpected. Garth Greenwell is a major writer, and his writing provides us tools to affirm ourselves, to exist—to fight.” – Edouard Louis

“Garth Greenwell’s sentences breathe, and are alive in completely unpredictable ways. Words are voyages says John Donne. Greenwell is a novelist whose art makes a poet stand on his toes.” – Ilya Kaminsky