Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Narcissus Ascending

Narcissus Ascending

A Novel

Karen McKinnon



Trade Paperback

Becky, Hugh, Dahlia, and Max. Friends who have formed a dysfunctional but necessary surrogate family. Callie, the crisis-prone, vivid, manipulative chameleon whose friendship has damaged them all individually but who still haunts their waking and sleeping dreams.

Becky, orphan, survivor, caffeine addict, on the verge of 30 and hoping to become famous with her first solo show of dismemberment collages in New York's East Village. Hugh, now a CPA in California, once the most sophisticated undergrad and object of Becky's frustrated desire and rivalry with Callie. Max, all leather, brooding and disguise, the actor who Callie left Hugh for, and who also had an affair with big-hearted, victimized dancer, Dahlia.

For as long as they have known each other their common language has been Callie—past tense. When Dahlia plots a revenge drama to be staged at Becky's gallery opening, she unwittingly revives their nostalgia for the outcast Callie's seductive charm and sets in motion a plan that forces Becky and Callie to play out their lethal emotional rivalry to the end. Told from the point of view of Becky, Narcissus Ascending is an unputdownable debut. Karen McKinnon's dissection of friendship, and the manipulative rivalry of two strong women is provocative and disturbing.


Praise for Narcissus Ascending

Narcissus Ascending stages a sly face-off between artworld ethics and aesthetics while entertaining with juicy plot twists. A hearty welcome, then, to Karen McKinnon, also plainly on the rise.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Compulsively readable.” —Marie Claire

“Raw and knowing.” —The New York Times

“[A] tongue-in-cheek send-up of the disaffected, over- privileged, solipsistic, apolitical, anti-intellectual, urban twentysomething crowd.” —The Washington Post

“[Narcissus Ascending] draws readers in and dares us to accept the challenge of sympathizing with characters that aren't especially sympathetic, and care about the ways in which their lives will be altered.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Taut and fast-paced, McKinnon's first novel offers both insight into an artist's mind and an insightful portrait of the dynamics of a group of friends.” —Booklist

“A gripping, revealing, entertaining debut.” —Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Karen McKinnon

Karen McKinnon lives in New York City.

Karen McKinnon

Karen McKinnon

From the Publisher


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