Pub Date 05 Jul 2018
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Jen Beagin’s brilliant, off-beat and deeply moving novel introduces an unforgettable character, Mona – almost twenty-four, emotionally adrift and cleaning houses to get by. Volunteering for a needle-exchange programme, she falls for a recipient she calls Mr Disgusting, who proceeds to break her heart in unimaginable ways.
In search of healing, Mona decamps to Taos, New Mexico, for a fresh start, where she finds a community of seekers and cast-offs, all of whom have one or two things to teach her – the pyjama-wearing, blissed-out New Agers, the slightly creepy client with peculiar tastes in controlled substances, the psychic who might really be psychic. But always lurking just beneath the surface are her memories of growing up in a chaotic, destructive family from which she’s trying to disentangle herself, and the crushing legacy of the past she left behind.
The story of Mona’s journey to find her place in the world is at once fearless and wonderfully strange, true to life and boldly human, and introduces a stunning, one-of-a-kind new voice in American fiction.
'Fresh, funny, compassionate... This is a terrific debut.'
'This book invaded my dreams, took over my conversation, and otherwise seduced me totally.'
Joshua Ferris, author of Then We Came to the End
'Jen Beagin has one of the freshest voices I've read in years—funny, wise, whip-smart and compassionate.'
Jami Attenberg, author of The Middlesteins
'Funny, supremely candid, this debut hurt me perfectly on every page.'
Ron Carlson, author of Return to Oakpine
'Pretend I’m Dead is funny, weird, disturbing, and just a touch magical.'
Annie Hartnett, author of Rabbit Cake
'If nuanced, funny, dark, utterly unpretentious literature is your drug of choice, Jen Beagin's Pretend I'm Dead constitutes an epic score. Please enjoy responsibly.'
Elisa Albert, author of After Birth