Archives par étiquette : Frances Goldin Literary Agency

LANDSCAPES de Christine Lai

An entrancing and prismatic debut novel, set in a near future fraught with ecological collapse, LANDSCAPES brilliantly explores memory, empathy, preservation, and art as an instrument for recollection and renewal.

by Christine Lai
Two Dollar Radio, September 2023
(via Frances Goldin Literary Agency)

In the English countryside—decimated by heat and drought—Penelope archives what remains of an estate’s once notable art collection. The crumbling country house has been her home for two decades and a refuge for those who have been displaced by disasters, but it is scheduled for demolition in a few months’ time. With this pressing deadline comes the impending return of Aidan’s brother, Julian, at whose hands Penelope suffered during a brief but violent relationship twenty-two years before. As Julian’s visit looms, Penelope finds herself unable to suppress the past, and she clings to art as a means of understanding, of survival, and of reckoning.

Recalling the works of Rachel Cusk and Kazuo Ishiguro, LANDSCAPES is an elegiac and spellbinding blend of narrative, essay, and diary that reinvents the country house novel for our age of catastrophe, and announces the arrival of an extraordinarily gifted new writer.

Christine Lai holds a PhD in English Literature from University College London and an MPhil from the University of Cambridge. She lives in Vancouver, Canada.

This is an extraordinary work.” —Kate Zambreno, author of Drifts and The Light Room

A transcendent, achingly beautiful debut.” —Omar El Akkad, Giller Prize-winning author of What Strange Paradise and American War

BODIES IN WATER de Shelly Jay Shore

BODIES IN WATER combines the humor, fraught-but-loving family dynamics, and obsession with death seen in books like Mostly Dead Things, One Last Stop, and Fun Home. It is the gay, Jewish, Six Feet Under we’ve all been waiting for.

by Shelly Jay Shore
Ballantine, Summer 2024
(via Frances Goldin Literary)

Twenty-eight-year-old Ezra Friedman is only a little bit clairvoyant, but enough to make growing up in a funeral home miserable. Maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad if his Zayde’s ghost didn’t keep giving him this look of betrayal and disapproval as he went through an HRT-induced second puberty, or if the dead’s hands weren’t so cold. But, it’s no wonder that Ezra would want to get as far away as possible from the family business.
With his parents’ marriage imploding, Ezra finds himself pulled back into the effort to help save the Friedman Family Memorial Chapel from financial ruin. That means long days of puzzling out his mom’s cryptic filing systems while surrounded by the ghosts no one else can see, while balancing his role as referee between the warring factions of his family. Add in his unfortunate crush on the cute funeral home volunteer who just happens to live downstairs from where Ezra and his ex are now living together as friends, and the new ghost who keeps breaking every spectral rule Ezra’s managed to figure out about the dead, and Ezra’s more than ready to make another run for the hills.
The more Ezra learns about the tangled web of secrets that haunt the Chapel’s halls, the harder it is to maintain the distance that (he thought) kept him sane. As the pressure mounts to figure out how to keep the funeral home from being snapped up by a corporate “body farm”, Ezra is forced to do something he never thought possible.

Shelly Jay Shore (she/they) is a writer, digital strategist, and nonprofit fundraiser. Their writing on queer Jewish identity has been published by Autostraddle, Alma, and the Bi Resource Center. BODIES IN WATER is her debut novel.


Part coming-of-age story, part psychological thriller, part philosophical investigation, this unforgettable memoir traces the ramifications of a series of lies that threaten to derail the author’s life—exploring the line between truth and deception, fact and fiction, and reality and conspiracy.

A Memoir in Two Stories
by Sarah Viren
Scribner, June 2023
(via Frances Goldin Literary)

Sarah’s story begins as she’s researching what she believes will be a book about her high school philosophy teacher, a charismatic instructor who taught her and her classmates to question everything—in the end, even the reality of historical atrocities. As she digs into the effects of his teachings, her life takes a turn into the fantastical when her wife, Marta, is notified that she’s been investigated for sexual misconduct at the university where they both teach.
Based in part on a viral
New York Times essay, TO NAME THE BIGGER LIE follows the investigation as it upends Sarah’s understanding of truth. She knows the claims made against Marta must be lies, and as she uncovers the identity of the person behind them and then tries, with increasing desperation, to prove their innocence, she’s drawn back into the questions that her teacher inspired all those years ago: about the nature of truth, the value of skepticism, and the stakes we all have in getting the story right.
A compelling, incisive journey into honesty and betrayal, this memoir explores the powerful pull of dangerous conspiracy theories and the pliability of personal narratives in a world dominated by hoaxes and fakes. TO NAME THE BIGGER LIE reads like the best of psychological thrillers—made all the more riveting because it’s true.

« A thrilling, labyrinthine and ultimately illuminating reckoning with what it feels like to be caught up in a vortex of post-truth, conspiracy, and lies, Sarah Viren’s To Name the Bigger Lie is a fascinating and deeply disturbing account of our contemporary age of weaponized falsehoods… This is a memoir, yes, but it’s also a view into a terrifying aspect of modernity, and Viren’s ability to unspool complicated tangles for the reader is unparalleled. » —Alex Marzano-Lesnevich, author of The Fact of a Body

Sarah Viren is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and the author of Mine. Sarah’s creative work has been supported by an NEA Fellowship and a Kerouac House Writing Residency, and her writing appears in the New York Times Magazine, Oxford American, Texas Monthly, and elsewhere. An assistant professor of creative nonfiction at ASU, she is a graduate of the Nonfiction Writing MFA at the University of Iowa.

RAPE GIRL de Jamie Hood

A necessarily illuminating text, imagining stranger, more radical models of storytelling. Combining the hybridity of Camen Maria Machado’s In the Dream House with the intensity of Maggie Nelson’s The Art of Cruelty, RAPE GIRL promises to do for sexual violence what Citizen did for conversations around race, and become part of a new wave of cultural resistance.

A Study in Nine Parts
by Jamie Hood
Pantheon/Random House, Spring 2024
(via Frances Goldin Literary)

In many ways, RAPE GIRL: A STUDY IN NINE PARTS is the book that essayist, critic, and poet Jamie Hood has been writing her entire life. In the thirty years since her first sexual assault (age six, by the neighbor), it has taken many forms: a chronological, straight memoir of violence; a book-length poem; a manifesto; a novel. In the wake of each subsequent attack (twice as a teenager, several times in graduate school, most recently at a Brooklyn bar), and resultant attempt to narrativize the violence, what became clear was that no single genre was able to capture the entirety of what she was trying to say.
Trauma disorients the very possibility of straightforward narrative, so then why do we expect our tellings of it to be linear and easily digestible? RAPE GIRL asks: what is rape at its core? And beyond: how would an account of rape that acknowledges and incorporates the truth of trauma as an experience shift the conversation?
Told in nine parts—media historical, political, poetic, autofictional, literary critical, and memoiristic—RAPE GIRL reckons with the confessional imperative of survivors and the role of rape narratives in our collective consciousness. Weaving between genres and throughout history, Hood consults Artemesia Gentileschi and other foremothers in revenge and witness, documents a month of walking the exact route that she took to escape an assailant, tangles with the specter of Dick Wolf and
Law & Order, reflects on her own coping mechanisms and childhood in Virginia, probes the specific silence around trans women’s experience of rape, and interrogates what it means to enter a post-#MeToo era of backlash in 2022.

Jamie Hood is a critic, memoirist, and poet, and the author of how to be a good girl (Grieveland 2020). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Baffler, The Nation, Los Angeles Review of Books, The New Inquiry, Observer, The Drift, SSENSE, Bookforum, Vogue, and elsewhere. She lives in Brooklyn.

POETS SQUARE de Courtney Gustafson

Beautifully written literary nonfiction about animals with a profound core like H Is for Hawk and Fox and I. Structured in smart, snappy personal essays that probe at the problems of personhood in the internet age, it will appeal to fans of Melissa Broder or Jia Tolentino, and its introspective, generous thinking on self and society evokes Wintering.

Essays on Cats & Community
by Courtney Gustafson
Crown, 2024
(via Frances Goldin Literary Agency)

When Courtney Gustafson moved into a new rental in the Poets Square neighborhood in Tuscon, Arizona, she would never have guessed that a colony of feral cats living in her driveway would change her life forever. Settling into a secure romantic relationship while it felt like the world around her was burning down, she couldn’t know how reluctantly, then profoundly, she would come to care about the health and safety of those thirty-some-odd neglected cats: Beebs, Lola, Sadboy, Goldie, Dr. Big Butt, Reverse Monkey, Rihanna, and so many more.
She had no idea about the grief and hardship of animal rescue, the staggering size of the problem. And she couldn’t have imagined how that struggle—towards an ethics of care, of individuals trying their best amidst spectacularly failing systems—would help pierce a personal darkness she’d wrestled with much of her life. She also didn’t expect that the TikTok and Instagram accounts she created about the cats would end up with a just shy of a combined million followers.
POETS SQUARE is a memoir-in-essays about becoming an accidental cat rescuer, going viral, creating community, and surviving capitalism. These essays tell the brutal and tender stories of cats Courtney has saved (or failed to save) as a lens to explore everything from poverty and mental health to morality and misogyny. We see how cat rescue—despite its often-enormous sadness—paradoxically helped in a struggle with depression, showing the way towards an interrelated community of cats and care. The book explores caretaking and kindness in the face of a broken system: what it means for an individual to refuse to throw their hands up, to insist on showing up regardless of insurmountable problems, to search for ways to be a good person in the face of crushing overwhelm.

Courtney Gustafson is the creator of @PoetsSquareCats on TikTok (918k) and Instagram (61k). Her cats and rescue work have been featured on The Dodo, Newsweek, Best Friends Animal Society Magazine, and elsewhere. Before she had thirty cats, she completed a masters degree and PhD coursework in rhetoric and composition at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where her interests included community literacies and literacy within incarcerated populations. She taught first-year writing at UMass before leaving academia to work in nonprofit communications. Most recently she’s worked for a large regional food bank, managing social media strategy, storytelling, fundraising, and crisis communications. She has continued to teach creative writing and adult basic literacy as a volunteer in prisons and in refugee communities in Tucson, Arizona, and volunteers as a mentor to incarcerated writers with PEN America’s Prison and Justice Writing Program. Her poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have appeared in Lady Science, Word Riot, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Necessary Fiction, and elsewhere.