Nobody Is Ever Missing (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Those vague, errant anxieties which plague and paralyze us, strengthened by subjectivity's inability to aptly describe them, are painted in precise, vivid colors in Lacey's debut novel. Our heroine, floundering (literally and figuratively) through New Zealand with mostly just her perturbation to keep her company, is as mysterious and fascinating as the landscape.


— From Wesley


Without telling her family, Elyria takes a one-way flight to New Zealand, abruptly leaving her stable but unfulfilling life in Manhattan. As her husband scrambles to figure out what happened to her, Elyria hurtles into the unknown, testing fate by hitchhiking, tacitly being swept into the lives of strangers, and sleeping in fields, forests, and public parks.
Her risky and often surreal encounters with the people and wildlife of New Zealand propel Elyria deeper into her deteriorating mind. Haunted by her sister's death and consumed by an inner violence, her growing rage remains so expertly concealed that those who meet her sense nothing unwell. This discord between her inner and outer reality leads her to another obsession: If her truest self is invisible and unknowable to others, is she even alive?
The risks Elyria takes on her journey are paralleled by the risks Catherine Lacey takes on the page. In urgent, spiraling prose she whittles away at the rage within Elyria and exposes the very real, very knowable anxiety of the human condition. And yet somehow Lacey manages to poke fun at her unrelenting self-consciousness, her high-stakes search for the dark heart of the self. In the spirit of Haruki Murakami and Amelia Gray, Nobody Is Ever Missing is full of mordant humor and uncanny insights, as Elyria waffles between obsession and numbness in the face of love, loss, danger, and self-knowledge.

About the Author

Catherine Lacey was named a Granta New Voice of 2014 and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow for fiction writing in 2012. She has published work in The New York Times, Guernica, Believer, McSweeney's Quarterly, and other magazines. She was born in Mississippi.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780374534493
ISBN-10: 0374534497
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Publication Date: July 8th, 2014
Pages: 244
Language: English