Life Is Everywhere
Lucy Ives (Author)
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A virtuosic, radical reimagining of the systems novel by a "rampaging, mirthful genius" (Elizabeth McKenzie).Everything that happened was repetition. But it was repetition with a difference. So she dragged along in a spiral, trusting to this form. Manhattan, 2014. It's an unseasonably warm Thursday in November and Erin Adamo is locked out of her apartment. Her husband has just left her and meanwhile her keys are in her coat, which she abandoned at her parents' apartment when she exited mid-dinner after her father--once again--lost control. Erin takes refuge in the library of the university where she is a grad student. Her bag contains two manuscripts she's written, along with a monograph by a faculty member who's recently become embroiled in a bizarre scandal. Erin isn't sure what she's doing, but a small, mostly unconscious part of her knows: within these documents is a key she's needed all along. With unflinching precision, Life Is Everywhere captures emotional events that hover fitfully at the borders of visibility and intelligibility, showing how the past lives on, often secretly and at the expense of the present. It's about one person on one evening, reckoning with heartbreak--a story that, to be fully told, unexpectedly requires many others, from the history of botulism to an enigmatic surrealist prank. Multifarious, mischievous, and deeply humane, Lucy Ives's latest masterpiece rejoices in what a novel, and a self, can carry.
October 04, 2022
5.6 X 8.23 X 1.33 inches | 1.31 pounds
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About the Author
Lucy Ives is the author of the novels Impossible Views of the World and Loudermilk: Or, The Real Poet; Or, The Origin of the World and the story collection Cosmogony. Her writing has appeared in Aperture, Artforum, frieze, Granta, n+1, and Vogue.
"Part of the trick of the novel is that you, reader, are never quite sure where you stand. Ives's roving narrator is constantly in flux, shape-shifting and genre-bending alongside the novel's own constant contortions. It is, in a word, everywhere."--Jane Hu, New York Times Book Review"Brilliantly berserk. . . . This disorienting but thrilling opening gambit is cinematic, like a view from space that pans swiftly down into a single pore on a human face. It prepares the reader for the wild ride ahead, for the grand sweep, the layering of chronologies, the manifold references and acts of repetition. . . . In its spirited play with literary history real and imagined, Life Is Everywhere bears a resemblance to Shola von Reinhold's extraordinary 2020 novel, LOTE. Ives' story-within-a-story also recalls 1001 Arabian Nights, Vladimir Nabokov's Pale Fire and Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy. . . . Its depiction of department dynamics is so pitch perfect as to be truly disconcerting to anyone with personal experience. . . . Ives is capable of virtuosic control -- there are at least 10 different kinds of writing in this book, and all are carried off so masterfully it's almost frightening."--Nina Renata Aron, Los Angeles Times
"Among the most audacious, effective, and ambitious books of recent vintage. . . . Ives refracts a novel of multitudinous brilliance and luminosity, hammering away at convention and the well-trod path with the confidence and skill of an accomplished, fearless writer. It is a credit to both her vision and her publisher's constitution that Life Is Everywhere, as wide-ranging and risk-taking a novel to be found this side of Infinite Jest, never once feels restrained. . . . Life Is Everywhere is a total success."--Dan White, Chicago Review of Books "Ives possesses an enthralling emotional and psychological acuity, a seemingly bottomless store of knowledge and a thrilling wit, all of which she applies to the systems under which we live -- and how we manage to live within or outside them."--Lynn Steger Strong, Los Angeles Times "Life is Everywhere shatters any kind of straightforward narrative arc in favor of a collage of shards that emphasizes the tone, atmosphere, and the general experience of life in the world at a particular moment. And it wouldn't work were Ives not a Big Ideas writer on the level of Gaddis, or DeLillo, or Wallace. Fortunately for all of us, she is. . . . Lucy Ives has proven herself to be one of our greatest under-the-radar geniuses, but an achievement like Life Is Everywhere demands attention."--James Webster, The Rumpus
"This pastiche novel boldly explores what drives the creative mind: genius, vanity, grief, love, and mental chaos. Ives is a brilliant, one-of-a-kind maestro, leading this complex orchestra with great aplomb."--Booklist "The novel we thought we'd been reading--#MeToo scandal rocks university!--disassembles itself, becomes something else, and something else again. When we return at the novel's close to The Incident, it is complicated further, left insistently, uncannily unknowable. . . . Life Is Everywhere reminds us that institutions have the advantages of accumulated power and the time to wait us out. But the rupture has happened. The cracks in the system are exposed, opening opportunities--we just have to take them."--Jamie Hood, Bookforum If Lucy Ives is as smart as her novel Life Is Everywhere, then I am in complete awe. The novel is challenging in all the best ways and an absolute joy to read. How many books in one and yet one book. This is great writing."--Percival Everett, author of Dr. No and The Trees "Writing novels is the way Lucy Ives discovers her thoughts about the at once disheartening and marvelous fact of being alive right here, right now. This brilliant and playful novel brims with wisdom."--Alejandro Zambra, author of Chilean Poet
"A discursive and funny Nabokovian story of academic stultification. . . . Brave readers will enjoy piecing together the puzzle."--Publishers Weekly
The superb Lucy Ives slays enemy and friend alike in this multivalent successor to Jarrell's Pictures from an Institution.--Jesse Ball
"Lucy Ives is a daring writer with a wicked sense of humor. Her books announce a plethora of ideas, her purview broad, with interests ranging from ancient history to contemporary art. She brilliantly observes society and culture, and invents stories only she could imagine. Ives's sense of language and unique mind make her one of our most original contemporary writers."--Lynne Tillman, author of Men and Apparitions and American Genius, A Comedy "Life Is Everywhere is simply dazzling. Part campus novel, part bildungsroman, part scenes from an unsalvageable marriage, the book blows past genre to deliver an unvarnished portrait of a woman on the verge: of a nervous breakdown, maybe, but also the possibility of her own self-realization. Ives has an ear for how people talk when they've lost the desire to speak. Her sentences are angry and elegant, replete with the accidental comedy of swimming with sharks. Witty, seductive, furious, and bold, this is a pitch-perfect aria of broken hearts and dubious morals. It is, what's more, a delightful read."--Anahid Nersessian, author of Keat's Odes: A Lover's Discourse