The Answers: A Novel
- Publish Date: 2017-06-06
- Binding: Hardcover
- Author: Catherine Lacey
Named to Most Anticipated and Must Read lists by Huffington Post, W, Nylon, Elle, Buzzfeed and Chicago Reader
Written by one of Granta's Best Young American Novelists, Catherine Lacey's The Answers is a novel of intellect and amplitude that deepens as it moves forward (The New York Times) about a woman learning to negotiate her ailment via the simulacrum of a perfect romantic relationship.
Mary Parsons is broke. Dead broke, really: between an onslaught of medical bills and a mountain of credit card debt, she has been pushed to the brink. Hounded by bill collectors and still plagued by the painful and bizarre symptoms that doctors couldnât diagnose, Mary seeks relief from a holistic treatment called Pneuma Adaptive KinesthesiaâPAKing, for short. Miraculously, it works. But PAKing is prohibitively expensive. Like so many young adults trying to make ends meet in New York City, Mary scours Craigslist and bulletin boards for a second job, and eventually lands an interview for a high-paying gig thatâs even stranger than her symptoms or the New Agey PAKing.
Maryâs new job title is Emotional Girlfriend in the âGirlfriend Experimentââthe brainchild of a wealthy and infamous actor, Kurt Sky, who has hired a team of biotech researchers to solve the problem of how to build and maintain the perfect romantic relationship, cast - ing himself as the experimentâs only constant. Around Kurt, several women orbit as his girlfriends with spe - cific functions. Thereâs a Maternal Girlfriend who folds his laundry, an Anger Girlfriend who fights with him, a Mundanity Girlfriend who just hangs around his loft, and a whole team of girlfriends to take care of Intimacy. With so little to lose, Mary falls headfirst into Kurtâs messy, ego-driven simulacrum of human connection.
Told in Catherine Laceyâs signature spiraling, hyp - notic prose, The Answers is both a mesmerizing dive into the depths of one womanâs psyche and a critical look at the conventions and institutions that infiltrate our most personal, private moments. As Mary struggles to understand herselfâher body, her city, the trials of her past, the uncertainty of her futureâthe reader must confront the impossible questions that fuel Catherine Laceyâs work: How do you measure love? Can you truly know someone else? Do we even know ourselves? And listen for Laceyâs uncanny answers.