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Elsewhere

By Alexis Schaitkin
Image for Alexis Schaitkin's book Elsewhere, featuring a fire in the foreground rising up to the Elsewhere text
Author: Alexis Schaitkin
ISBN: 9781250219633
ON SALE: 06/28/2022

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ISBN: 9781250219633
Image for Alexis Schaitkin's book Elsewhere, featuring a fire in the foreground rising up to the Elsewhere text
ISBN: 978125021961
Image for Alexis Schaitkin's book Elsewhere, featuring a fire in the foreground rising up to the Elsewhere text
ISBN: 9781250852786

** A Harper's BAZAAR Best, Buzziest New Book**
** An Entertainment Weekly Best and Brightest Books to Devour This Season**
** Washington Post Noteworthy Book for June**
** Bustle Most Anticipated Book of June**
** BuzzFeed Best Book of June **
** An Electric Literature Recommended Reading**
** A Glamour Best New Book of June **

Richly emotive and darkly captivating, with elements of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” and the imaginative depth of Margaret Atwood, Elsewhere by Alexis Schaitkin conjures a community in which girls become wives, wives become mothers and some of them, quite simply, disappear.  

Vera grows up in a small town, removed and isolated, pressed up against the mountains, cloud-covered and damp year-round. This town, fiercely protective, brutal and unforgiving in its adherence to tradition, faces a singular affliction: some mothers vanish, disappearing into the clouds. It is the exquisite pain and intrinsic beauty of their lives; it sets them apart from people elsewhere and gives them meaning.

Vera, a young girl when her own mother went, is on the cusp of adulthood herself. As her peers begin to marry and become mothers, they speculate about who might be the first to go, each wondering about her own fate. Reveling in their gossip, they witness each other in motherhood, waiting for signs: this one devotes herself to her child too much, this one not enough—that must surely draw the affliction’s gaze. When motherhood comes for Vera, she is faced with the question: will she be able to stay and mother her beloved child, or will she disappear?

Provocative and hypnotic, Alexis Schaitkin’s Elsewhere is at once a spellbinding revelation and a rumination on the mysterious task of motherhood and all the ways in which a woman can lose herself to it; the self-monitoring and judgment, the doubts and unknowns, and the legacy she leaves behind.

Picture of Author Alexis Schaitkin
Alexis Schaitkin is the author of Saint X. Her short stories have been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. She received her MFA in fiction from the University of Virginia, where she was a Henry Hoyns Fellow. She lives in the Berkshires with her husband and their two children.

Praise for Alexis Schaitkin

“Alexis Schaitkin’s second novel, Elsewhere, joins the recent roster of impressive novels that have employed speculative elements to examine new motherhood... A welcome addition to a shelf of speculative fiction about the joys, failures and metamorphoses involved in having a child, Elsewhere asks: Is motherhood, like the town itself, meant to be a featureless place, best experienced under a haze of collective brainwashing?”

The New York Times Book Review

“Schaitkin wrote 2020 hit Saint X, an upscale thriller about a missing girl that is slated to be adapted into a series on Hulu starring Victoria Pedretti of You. This book abandons that genre but offers more of what fans of Schaitkin love—beautiful writing and a serious consideration of womanhood and girlhood through a gripping story.”

Glamour
The Best New Books of June

“Reading Alexis Schaitkin’s fiction feels like wandering through gorgeous terrain that’s almost familiar; one longs to move slowly and take it all in, every lush detail. At the same time, you can’t quite find your footing; the ground seems to ripple beneath your feet. Attempt to steady yourself, and you might be hit with waves of vertigo. The experience is unnerving, exhilarating.”

Electric Literature
Recommended Reading

“Schaitkin skillfully calls into question the meaning of motherhood with all its attendant judgment, self-doubt and profound love.”

THE WASHINGTON POST

"This exquisitely written work of speculative fiction has been called Shirley Jackson’s 'The Lottery' meets Margaret Atwood, and it’s one you’ll be thinking about long after its final sentence."

Apartment Therapy
If You’re Going to Read One Book In June, Make It This One

"Drawing comparisons to Shirley Jackson and Margaret Atwood, Alexis Schaitkin’s Elsewhere centers on Vera, a young woman who has grown up in an isolated, mysterious town where mothers often vanish into thin air."

Bustle
The Most Anticipated Books Of June 2022

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