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Book Title

Life Is Everywhere

A Novel
Author 1
Lucy Ives
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.

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A virtuosic, radical reimagining of the systems novel by a “rampaging, mirthful genius” (Elizabeth McKenzie)

About the Author

Lucy  Ives
Credit: Will Matsuda
Lucy Ives is the author of three novels: Impossible Views of the WorldLoudermilk: Or, The Real Poet; Or, The Origin of the World; and Life Is Everywhere. She is the 2023–2025 Bonderman Assistant Professor of the Practice in Literary Arts at Brown University.
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  • “Brilliantly berserk. . . . 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. . . . This is a work of art that feels like a barely contained explosion.”—Nina Renata Aron, Los Angeles Times
  • There’s an encouraging, matter-of-fact drumbeat to Ives’s prose. It’s a style that, much like Erin’s coping mechanism, keeps emotional profundity carefully taxonomized, and therefore at bay, producing for the reader instead a mesmeric hunger for the text itself. . . . [H]aunting.”—Hannah Gold, The New Yorker
  • “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
  • “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
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