The Shimmering State


Product Details

$27.00  $25.11
Atria Books
Publish Date
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About the Author

Meredith Westgate grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. She is a graduate of Dartmouth College and holds an MFA in fiction from The New School. The Shimmering State is her first novel. Visit her at and on Instagram @MeredithWestgate.


"Who are we without our memories? Who might we be if we could relive someone else's? Meredith Westgate's captivating first novel wrestles with these existential questions without sacrificing her characters' distinctive and emotional essences. An impressive, unsettling, and surprisingly romantic debut." --HELEN SCHULMAN, author of Come With Me
"The Shimmering State is a slick, LA-set gel-cap, easily digestible, where memories and trauma are wiped away, though their imprints remain. At a rejuvenation center, a photographer and a dancer let their old selves go--every last unwanted memory--while out in the world, strangers' memories are available for consumption in pill form. A classic tale of artists trying to make it in LA flipped on its head." --KATIE M. FLYNN, author of The Companions
"Contemplative and wonderfully evocative. Finishing The Shimmering State is like waking from a dream, where you re-enter the world with fresh eyes and wonder at the frailty of your own memories." --JESSICA CHIARELLA, author of And Again and The Lost Girls
"Like an Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind for the #MeToo era, The Shimmering State is a riveting, nuanced, and ultimately haunting meditation on the triangular relationship between sense, memory, and identity. There must be something in the California air because, like Joan Didion, Meredith Westgate has an extraordinary ear, not only for the stories we tell ourselves in order to live, but for the ways that we endlessly revise them to suit the new selves we continue to construct." --ADAM WILSON, author of Sensation Machines
"Cinematic, dreamlike, at times brutal yet poignant. The premise of this new memory drug is tantalizing, and the storylines that unfold from the abuse of it are compelling." --FRANCES CHA, author of If I Had Your Face
"Westgate's novel does what the absolute best books do--it makes you experience the world so differently. Who are we? Are we our memories? And if so, how do we know what memories are true and what might be manipulated? Moving, astounding, and totally unsettling. But also, as fascinating as memory itself." --CAROLINE LEAVITT, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You and With or Without You
"The Shimmering State gives readers what its title promises: a shimmering, dreamlike experience of multiple lives that collide and repel through fate and coincidence. In this hypnotic novel, Westgate offers her characters, and her readers, a beautifully dystopian shot at redemption, and shows the lengths people will go to remember and to forget." --LYDIA KIESLING, author of The Golden State
"Stirring, lush, and thought-provoking, The Shimmering State is an entrancing novel about the losses that bind us and the memories that define us." --ELAN MASTAI, author of All Our Wrongs Today