In 'The Friend,' A Dog And A Cat Person Help Each Other Heal After A Shared Loss

Following her friend's suicide, the book's narrator is asked to take his massive Great Dane in. They mourn together.
"The Friend," by Sigrid Nuñez. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

Sigrid Nuñez‘s new novel “The Friend” is about a lot of things — the suicide of a friend which will never be explained, the writing world and, at one point, sex trafficking. But most of all, it’s about a Harlequin Great Dane, white with black patches, named Apollo.

After her friend’s suicide, the book’s narrator — a cat person — is asked to take his massive pet in. They mourn together.

“Once she has [Apollo], she realizes that he is going through a process of grieving just like her own, and that draws them very close together, and they get through it together,” Nuñez tells Here & Now‘s Robin Young. “They help each other heal.”

  • Scroll down to read an excerpt from “The Friend”

Interview Highlights

On what we know about whether dogs grieve

“We do know that they do grieve, because we can observe that, and we do know that we can’t explain to them, ‘Oh, the person died because he was in a car accident,’ or something, you can’t explain that to a

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