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A Novel
J. Robert Lennon

An unnamed woman checks into a guesthouse in a mysterious district known only as the Subdivision. The guesthouse’s owners, Clara and the Judge, are welcoming and helpful, if oddly preoccupied by the perpetually baffling jigsaw puzzle in the living room. With little more than a hand-drawn map and vague memories of her troubled past, the narrator ventures out in search of a job, an apartment, and a fresh start in life.

Accompanied by an unusually assertive digital assistant named Cylvia, the narrator is drawn deeper into an increasingly strange, surreal, and threatening world, which reveals itself to her through a series of darkly comic encounters reminiscent of Gulliver’s Travels. A lovelorn truck driver . . . a mysterious child . . . a watchful crow. A cryptic birthday party. A baffling physics experiment in a defunct office tower where some calamity once happened. Through it all, the narrator is tempted and manipulated by the bakemono, a shape-shifting demon who poses a distinctly terrifying danger.

Harrowing, meticulous, and deranged, Subdivision is a brilliant maze of a novel from the writer Kelly Link has called “a master of the dark arts.” With the narrative intensity and mordant humor familiar to readers of Broken River,J. Robert Lennon continues his exploration of the mysteries of perception and memory.

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A heady, inventive, fantastical novel about the nature of memory and the difficulty of confronting trauma

About the Author

J. Robert  Lennon
J. Robert Lennon is the author of nine novels, including Subdivision and Broken River, and three story collections, Let Me Think, Pieces for the Left Hand, and See You in Paradise. He lives in Ithaca, New York.
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Upcoming Events

VIRTUAL: J. Robert Lennon in conversation with Elisa Gabbert, presented by Harvard Book Store

Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, MAview map

4:00 PM Pacific / 6:00 PM Central / 7:00 PM Eastern. On Zoom. Free and open to the public. Register here. Copies of Let Me Think and Subdivision are available for purchase from Harvard Book Store.

VIRTUAL: J. Robert Lennon (LET ME THINK) and Dorthe Nors (WILD SWIMS) reading and in conversation, presented by Literati Bookstore

Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor, MIview map
3 PM Pacific / 5 PM Central / 6 PM Eastern. Part of the At Home With Literati series. This event is free and open to the public and will be broadcast on Zoom. Click here for more information and to register. Copies of Wild Swims, Let Me Thinkand Subdivision are available for purchase from Literati Bookstore. 


  • “Deliriously inventive. . . . This is an impressive marriage of a vibrant, tortuous fever dream and an unsentimental meditation on life and death.”Publishers Weekly
  • “J Robert Lennon [is] one of our most reliably interesting and adventurous novelists.”—The Millions
  • “A dazzling enigma packed with mysteries in miniature. . . . Is the Subdivision a place, an emotion or an event lodged in the back of the mind? Is it limbo, or a wall persuaded to shield us from the truth? Lennon is a masterly aggregator of dread. His refusal to neatly answer these questions allows for a bold, unsettling narrative to take shape.”—The New York Times Book Review
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