Marilou is Everywhere
Sarah Elaine Smith
SHORTLISTED FOR THE LA TIMES BOOK PRIZE
FOR FANS OF Where the Crawdads Sing
‘Audacious, poetic, wondrous’ Sunday Express
A richly atmospheric and darkly unforgettable debut about lost innocence and life in the margins…
‘Remarkable. Fiction debuts this accomplished don’t come along very often… Smith is a writer of immense talent and rare imagination [and] this novel reads like a miracle’ – NPR
‘To be honest, we just weren’t looking that hard. Nobody knew where to search and it was summer vacation anyway – but that wasn’t the reason nobody looked for Jude.’
One summer, a teenager disappears from Deep Valley, Pennsylvania. Jude, nicknamed Marilou, is beautiful, intelligent, and mixed race. The alarm is raised, the cops search for her – but not as hard as they would if she were a white girl. Watching this mystery unfold is Cindy, a younger girl from a white trash family, who has idolised Jude for years. And so, in the absence of anyone to give a damn about her, Cindy starts to slip out of her own life and into the space Jude left behind…
Marilou Is Everywhere is a story about the desperation to escape – and the terrible, intimate crimes we commit to do so. Swimming in the rich melancholia of rural America, it is a fall from grace, a moral provocation, and a heartbreaking account of life in the margins.
‘Lyrical, sexy, humane, and just a total pleasure to read’ Elif Batuman, author of The Idiot
‘One of the most exquisitely written books I’ve read in a long time. A haunting novel about craving escape so badly you’re willing to erase yourself, by a writer I would follow anywhere’ Julie Buntin, author of Marlena
A stunningly evocative debut novel * Boston Globe * An eerie exploration of desperation and the complexities of maternal love... Sure to be a page-turner * Lit Hub (Most Anticipated Books of 2019) * Feral, alert and hungry, an unsettling coming-of-age story. Her words create a picture of desperation and absence and a poignant story of accountability * BUST * Enthralling, startling and stunning... The prose leaves you raw, defying you to articulate what the book is because it feels too immense, promising no easy answers * Paste * This is a mysterious and strangely exciting debut. Smith is a poet, and writes in sensory driven, soul-tapping prose. * Booklist * One of the most unforgettable books I've read this year, offering a uniquely haunting, but also disarmingly funny and lyrical look at loss, love and the desire to be seen * NYLON * Rich and vivid, [a] hauntingly gorgeous debut novel... Smith captures this unstable world with matter-of-fact poetry, spare and sensual and surprisingly funny * Kirkus (STARRED REVIEW) * Audacious... Smith's beautiful, poetic prose transforms this strange coming-of-age story into something wondrous * Daily Express, Best New Paperbacks of Summer 2020 * Strange and powerful... That Smith is also a poet comes as no surprise. Her prose - rich and bursting, verdantly Appalachian - puts you vividly in this world, where the banal is rendered strangely and tenderly... This is a book interested in people not just unglamorous, but overlooked. It's a book brimming with longing, with heartbreak. It's a coming-of-age by coming into somebody else * The New York Times * Remarkable. Fiction debuts this accomplished don't come along very often at all, and Marilou Is Everywhere proves Smith a writer of immense talent and rare imagination... This novel reads like a miracle. * NPR *
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