My new novel, A Place for People Like Us coming in 2025
I am so excited to share that my new novel, A Place for People Like Us will be published by Guernica Editions in 2025.
I've been working on this novel for so long, I can't wait for it to be out in the world, for people to meet my characters and read about their lives.
The first draft was written when I was an MFA candidate at Guelph University. Some of the greatest Canadian writers, from Dionne Brand to Catherine Bush to Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer to Camilla Gibb and Russell Smith. I was so lucky to get feedback from all of them- the whole MFA experience was incredible.
(this was me, and the brilliant Catherine Bush and Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer on the day I defended my thesis)
A lot has changed since my first draft (Thank God) including the title. This title, A Place for People Like Us, comes from the Denis Johnson short story Beverly Place, which is the final story in one of my favourite collections of all time, Jesus's Son.
I highly recommend the collection if you haven't read it yet https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/608287.Jesus_Son
Like Johnson’s characters, my main character Hannah feels like a misfit, and has barely given herself permission to imagine that there is a place for people like her in the real world. Hannah is an undergrad, a business major who secretly makes jewelry and wants to be an artist. She enters into an intense do I want to be her, or be with her kind of friendship with a magentic music major named Jillian. They move in together, and Hannah meets a Modern Orthodox Jewish guy who's more interested in commitment, if she's willing to convert to Judaism. Hannah soon discovers that despite their wealth, and status, the Goldwaters have enormous secrets, almost as crippling as her own. When a major lie Jillian tells threatens to upend her relationship with the family, Hannah is forced to see her, and the Goldwaters for everything they are.
A Place for People Like Us examines faith, hypocrisy and identity. It’s about deception, ambition and what it really means to love someone. It's about the lengths we sometimes go to to escape our pasts, and the self deception that is present until the moment we are faced with the person or situation we were trying so hard to avoid. It's also about the lengths we go to hold onto relationships.
I'm so grateful to the people who let me interview them, from experts on Munchausen's, like Dr Marc Feldman to experts on conversion to Judaism, like my friend, the Rabbi Adam Cutler. Understanding character motivation is sometimes hard, and impossible really,without people who make it their life's work. I also read tons about cults (possibly enough for a lifetime, though they're pretty interesting)
I'm also so grateful to the amazing Elyse Friedman, who did such an insightful and brilliant manuscript consultation that helped so much. I feel so lucky to have gotten to work with such amazing people.
Anyway, I can't wait for you to read it.
Guernica is a wonderful publisher, with an incredible team and I'm really excited and looking forward to sharing more details soon.