Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Answers

The Answers

A Novel

Catherine Lacey

Farrar, Straus and Giroux




Named one of 2017's Most Anticipated Books by Huffington Post, Elle, Buzzfeed, Chicago Reader

Los Angeles Times “Faces to Watch” in 2017

An urgent, propulsive novel about a woman learning to negotiate her ailment and its various aftereffects via the simulacrum of a perfect romantic relationship, written by one of Granta's Best Young American Novelists

In Catherine Lacey’s ambitious second novel we are introduced to Mary, a young woman living in New York City and struggling to cope with a body that has betrayed her. All but paralyzed with pain, Mary seeks relief from a New Agey treatment called Pneuma Adaptive Kinesthesia, PAKing for short. And, remarkably, it works. But PAKing is prohibitively expensive and Mary is dead broke. So she scours Craigslist for fast-cash jobs and finds herself applying for the “Girlfriend Experiment,” the brainchild of an eccentric actor, Kurt Sky, who is determined to find the perfect relationship—even if that means paying different women to fulfill distinctive roles. Mary is hired as the “Emotional Girlfriend”—certainly better than the “Anger Girlfriend” or the “Maternal Girlfriend”—and is pulled into Kurt’s ego-driven and messy attempt at human connection.

Told in her signature spiraling prose, The Answers is full of the singular yet universal insights readers have come to expect from Lacey. It is a gorgeous hybrid of the plot- and the idea-driven novel that will leave you reeling.



I’d run out of options. That’s how these things usually happen, how a person ends up placing all her last hopes on a stranger, hoping that whatever that stranger might do to her would be the thing she needed done to her.



Praise for The Answers

Praise for The Answers

"Catherine Lacey is one of the most intelligent and brittle and funny writers of her generation. In The Answers, she builds—out of the raw stuff of bewilderment and absence—a soaring, heartbreaking work that's just on the right side of being nearly too beautiful to bear." —Lauren Groff, author of Fates and Furies

"Remarkable . . . Lacey displays an exceptional ability to articulate the elusiveness of knowing others, as well as the desire to find meaning and trust within." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Startling and stunning and compulsively strange, Lacey's sophomore novel is a haunting investigation into the nature of love . . . With otherworldly precision and subtle wit, Lacey creates a gently surreal dreamscape that's both intoxicating and profound. A singular novel; as unexpected as it is rich." —Kirkus (starred review)

"An adept novel . . . Lacey digs into the choppy turf beneath a woman's relationship to her body, her identity and her search for balance between independence and meaningful relationships . . . Lacey doesn't give us answers, but she sure gives us a wild story with a memorable protagonist." —Shelf Awareness

"Surreal, thought-provoking, and intriguingly untidy" —Booklist

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Catherine Lacey

Catherine Lacey is the author of Nobody Is Ever Missing, winner of a 2016 Whiting Award and a finalist for the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award. Her essays and fiction have been published widely and translated into Italian, French, Dutch, Spanish, and German. Born in Mississippi, she is now based in Chicago.

Catherine Lacey

Willy Somma

From the Publisher

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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