‘The beautiful, crazy lovechild of Franz Kafka and Shirley Jackson. Our hero Pew awakes in a church somewhere in a small town, with no idea who they are or how they got there, and no particular interest in finding out – unlike the rest of the town, who will not rest until they have worked out who and what exactly the stranger is. Pew speaks brilliantly to the needs of society to assign labels, sort and categorise, and above all, fill the silence with noisy clatter even as we claim we crave quiet.’
From the publisher:
‘I consumed it. It is the electric charge we need.’ – Daisy Johnson, author of Everything Under
Fleeing a past they can no longer remember, Pew wakes on a church bench, surrounded by curious strangers.
Pew doesn’t have a name, they’ve forgotten it. Pew doesn’t know if they’re a girl or a boy, a child or an almost-adult. Is Pew an orphan, or something worse? And what terrible trouble are they running from?
Pew won’t speak, but the men and women of this small, god-fearing town are full of questions. As the days pass, their insistent clamour will build from a murmur to a roar, as both the innocent and the guilty come undone in the face of Pew’s silence.
‘A stranger comes to town, and takes us with them into their estrangement among the denizens of a conservative religious community. The people of this community are stifling, and generous, cruel, earnest, needy, overconfident, fragile and repressive, which is to say that they are brilliantly rendered by their wise maker, Catherine Lacey.’ – Rachel Kushner, author of The Mars Room
‘The mercurial and electric Catherine Lacey has now conjured up an of-the-moment fable of trauma and projection - one part Kaspar Hauser, one part James Purdy, and one part Rachel Cusk. The pages shimmer with implication.’ – Jonathan Lethem, author of Motherless Brooklyn