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About the Author
Annaleese Jochems was born in 1994 and grew up in the far north of New Zealand. She won the 2016 Adam Prize from the International Institute of Modern Letters and the 2018 Hubert Church Best First Book Award for Fiction for Baby, which is her first book.
"Sultry, sinister, hilarious and demented, Baby blazes with intelligence and murderous black humor. Heavenly Creatures for a new generation."
--Eleanor Catton, author of Man Booker Prize-winning The Luminaries
"Cynthia, the simpering, scheming, covetous emotional sinkhole of New Zealander Annaleese Jochems's assured debut novel, Baby, is alive and squirming; a memorable addition to the growing coteries of unapologetic antiheroines (dis)gracing the pages of contemporary fiction...There are echoes here of Megan Abbott, Emma Cline, Zoë Heller and Miranda July: writers drawn to the intricacies and ferocious possibilities of female friendship. There's a dollop, too, of Patricia Highsmith's Tom Ripley; a dash of Lord of the Flies. What Jochems adds is a cloying grotesqueness. Baby is a novel of close-quarters living: of masticating mouths and human stink; of piss and vomit, sunburn and bruises, pimples and dandruff; of new fat expanding under the skin. A novel of bodies."
"Jochems' debut is witty and unique...A promising new voice."
"Dripping with cynicism and green-eyed lust, this suspenseful debut from a Kiwi author is driven by the compulsively off-kilter worldview of its 21-year-old heroine...Creepy and tense, with a blood-thirsty climax."
"Patricia Highsmith meets reality TV in this compelling debut. Jochems nudges up the tension until we can't bear to look--and can't bear to look away: thrilling, dangerous and deliciously funny."
--Catherine Chidgey, prize-winning author of The Wish Child and The Beat of the Pendulum
"This funny, sexy, unnerving novel challenges received ideas and delivers jolts of pleasure and disquiet throughout. Jochems, like her extraordinary creation Cynthia, is a force to be reckoned with."
--Emily Perkins, author of The Forrests and Novel About My Wife