NOW AVAILABLE: Murder Meets Jiu Jitsu in BREAKFALL
"There are plenty of twists and turns in Breakfall, but the book also shines as a slow-burn domestic drama."
"A plucky heroine, a kind-of mystery, and a lot of sexual hijinks keep it interesting."
"BREAKFALL is a sexy and compelling slow burn, part twisted romance, part mystery — think FIFTY SHADES OF GREY with a murder."
— Nick Petrie, author of THE RUNAWAY
Mina Banksy, a 32-year-old writer and mother of a rambunctious toddler, is still reeling from a tumultuous divorce and a very challenging year when two Chicago detectives show up at her door looking for her friend, Dylan. Or, more accurately, the van that she allowed him to register in her name, because Dylan, a friend from her former Jiu Jitsu gym, is a recovered addict and convicted felon. The van quickly becomes the least of her problems, as Dylan, too, is nowhere to be found. His disappearance triggers a series of events that turn everyone at the close-knit gym into suspects or victims, and somehow all roads lead back to Mina Banksy.
Part unlikely romance and part murder mystery, set inside the eclectic subculture of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, BREAKFALL is an exploration of sexual desire, motherhood, and marriage in modern times.
At The End of the World, Turn Left (2021)
Named by Booklist as one of the "Top Ten Crime Debuts" of the last year, and by CrimeReads as one of the "Ten Great Novels to Read This April," Zhanna Slor's debut novel, a unique literary mystery set in Milwaukee's eclectic Riverwest neighborhood during the 2008 recession, weaves together the tale of two immigrant sisters with very different ideas of home. Masha remembers her childhood in the former USSR, but found her life and heart in Israel's Orthodox community. Anna, a young artist and student, was only an infant when her family left but still yearns to find her roots. When Anna is contacted by a stranger from their hometown and then disappears, Masha is called back to Wisconsin to find her, and this search changes the family forever.
"It's rare to find a debut mystery crafted with such elegance and authenticity, let alone in a place that has been so neglected as a literary location. Slor's next novel will be one to anticipate."
"Slor keeps the suspense high in this unconventional detective story, using her characters’ musings on language and perception to enrich readers’ understanding of how and why events unfold as they do. Those looking for an intricately textured tale of family relationships will be rewarded."
― Publishers Weekly
"This wonderful debut is a match for patrons who enjoyed Zadie Smith’s White Teeth or Rachel Zhong’s Goodbye, Vitamin. It’s also a must for anyone who has ever had a needy Grandma who anticipates death every morning (this character alone is worth the read)."
― Booklist (Starred Review)
"Don’t miss At the End of the World, Turn Left—one of those gems of a novel that delivers poignant observations about life in a suspenseful page-turner. As two young sisters separately search for answers in the wonderfully offbeat neighborhood of Riverwest, Milwaukee, torn in different directions by a fascinating crew of locals—Jewish Soviet refugees, charismatic train hoppers, lovable loafers and thieves—the reader is taken on a heart-thumping ride that explores all the important relationships that make up our lives: our relationship to our siblings, parents, friends, country, heritage, and, lastly, to ourselves; that is, the person we used to be and the one we hope to become."
― Jessamyn Hope, author of Safekeeping
"At the End of the World, Turn Left is the story of two immigrant sisters who are grappling with finding their purpose and place in the world, struggling to find the balance between family and freedom, tradition and modernity. Slor's brilliant exploration of the nature of freedom is a quintessential first-generation American story told with great humor, grit, wisdom, and compassion."
― Anne Raeff, author of Winter Kept Us Warm and Only the River
"An intoxicating fever dream of a book, At the End of the World Turn Left subverts the mystery genre in surprising ways and gives us the mysteries of real life instead: the incommunicable nature of the past, the confines of family, the gulfs love must try to cover between us. A beautiful, joyful read."
― Rufi Thorpe, author of The Knockout Queen, Dear Fang with Love, and The Girls of Corona Del Mar
"Zhanna Slor has written a stellar debut novel of literary suspense, which is also an engrossing coming-of-age story focusing on two sisters who emigrated as children from Ukraine to Milwaukee. Slor insightfully examines their experiences as young women who must confront the contradictions they find in themselves, in America, and in their parents, who both want their daughters to live as they are told to rather than find their own way in the world. This is a debut of many felicities, much heart, and more than a few comic moments. It was a true pleasure to read."
― Christine Sneed, author of Little Known Facts and Paris, He Said
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Zhanna Slor was born in Ukraine and moved to the Midwest in the early 1990s. Her debut novel, At the End of the World, Turn Left, was called "elegant and authentic" by NPR and named by Booklist as one of the "Top Ten Crime Debuts" of 2021. Her second novel, Breakfall, a domestic thriller surrounding a mysterious death at a close-knit Jiu Jitsu gym, was just released on April 25, 2023. Order it on Amazon.