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Everything Under

A Novel
Daisy Johnson
The dictionary doesn’t contain every word. Gretel, a lexicographer by trade, knows this better than most. She grew up on a houseboat with her mother, wandering the canals of Oxford and speaking a private language of their own invention. Her mother disappeared when Gretel was a teen, abandoning her to foster care, and Gretel has tried to move on, spending her days updating dictionary entries.

One phone call from her mother is all it takes for the past to come rushing back. To find her, Gretel will have to recover buried memories of her final, fateful winter on the canals. A runaway boy had found community and shelter with them, and all three were haunted by their past and stalked by an ominous creature lurking in the canal: the bonak. Everything and nothing at once, the bonak was Gretel’s name for the thing she feared most. And now that she’s searching for her mother, she’ll have to face it.

In this electrifying reinterpretation of a classical myth, Daisy Johnson explores questions of fate and free will, gender fluidity, and fractured family relationships. Everything Under—a debut novel whose surreal, watery landscape will resonate with fans of Fen—is a daring, moving story that will leave you unsettled and unstrung.
 

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$16.00
ISBN
978-1-55597-826-6
Format
Paperback
Publication Date
Subject
Pages
280
Trim Size
5.5 x 8.25
An eerie, watery reimagining of the Oedipus myth set on the canals of Oxford, from the author of Fen
 

About the Author

Daisy  Johnson
Credit: Matthew Bradshaw
Daisy Johnson was born in 1990. Her short fiction has appeared in Boston Review and the Warwick Review, among others. She was the recipient of the 2014 A. M. Heath Prize, and currently lives in Oxford, England. Fen is her first novel.
 
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Praise

  • “An intimate look at language and motherhood, but with a physical manifestation of terror that manages to straddle the line between obviously real and a product of the imagination.”The Outline
     
  • “A tense, startling book of true beauty and insight. Proof that the oldest of stories contain within them the seeds of our future selves.”Kirkus Reviews, *starred review*
     
  • “Never mind that the Oedipus myth frames the story, readers will first notice the fresh, lyrical voice and the way Gretel’s narration deftly reveals the impact of her unorthodox upbringing and her efforts at reunion.”Library Journal, Fall/Winter Bests
     
  • Everything Under’s original story, of Gretel searching for her wild mother, of Marcus’s flight on the river, is beautiful, haunting, and propulsive. And the Oedipus strand introduces a playful, referential pleasure.”Fiction Unbound
     
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