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And Then She Fell: A Novel
Alicia Elliott
Doubleday Canada / Hardcover / Oct 2023
9780385684101 (ISBN-10: 038568410X)
Indigenous Peoples
price: $34.00
352 pages
In Stock (Ships within one business day)

A mind-bending, gripping novel about Native life, motherhood and mental health that follows a young Mohawk woman who discovers that the picture-perfect life she always hoped for may have horrifying consequences

On the surface, Alice is exactly where she should be: She’s just given birth to a beautiful baby girl, Dawn; her charming husband, Steve is nothing but supportive; and they’ve recently moved into a new home in a wealthy neighborhood in Toronto. But Alice could not feel like more of an imposter. She isn’t connecting with Dawn, a struggle made even more difficult by the recent loss of her own mother, and every waking moment is spent hiding her despair from their white, watchful neighbors. Even when she does have a minute to herself, her perpetual self-doubt hinders the one vestige of her old life she has left: her goal of writing a modern retelling of the Haudenosaunee creation story.

At first, Alice is convinced her discomfort is of her own making. She has gotten everything she always dreamed of, after all. But then strange things start happening. She finds herself losing bits of time, hearing voices she can’t explain, and speaking with things that should not be talking back to her, all while her neighbors’ passive-aggressive behavior begins to morph into something far more threatening. Though Steve assures her this is all in her head, Alice cannot fight the feeling that something is very, very wrong, and that in her creation story lies the key to her and Dawn’s survival. . . . She just has to finish it before it’s too late.

Told in Alice’s raw and darkly funny voice, And Then She Fell is an urgent and unflinching look at inherited trauma, womanhood, denial, and false allyship, which speeds to an unpredictable—and surreal—climax.

Reviews:

"Familiar and ethereal. Brutal and beautiful. And Then She Fell is the fulfilment of the promise of Alicia Elliott ‘s storytelling prowess. . . . A soundtrack for the gorgeous nightmare that is both motherhood and belonging in and of itself, stitched together by the depths only grief and love can hook together. The Naked Lunch meets Rosemary’s Baby . . . and shot together with the golden humour and philosophy of Haudenosaunee story like an intimate lifeline, And Then She Fell is remarkable, and a world unto itself. What an accomplishment. What a gift.” —Cherie Dimaline, author of The Marrow Thieves and VenCo

"Alice and her husband have woven a lattice pattern of silence and secrets that slowly implodes in this fierce, remarkable debut. Elliott’s meticulous prose is an agile portal through the narrator’s complex inner life, the tensions, and fractures that surface when the trappings of success hide the weight of intergenerational trauma, racism, sexism, and the unwieldy expectations of Motherhood. And Then She Fell saves us from devastation by the grace it shows its characters and, ultimately, by the strength of their connections." —Eden Robinson, author of Monkey Beach and the Trickster trilogy

"And Then She Fell is shocking, riveting, uncomfortable, gorgeous and visionary. Alicia Elliott destabilizes the reader and forces them to confront the horror of otherness. The cannibalism of Indigenous culture by academia is portrayed in a grotesque tableau that rivals the worlds of Jordan Peele. Elliott's remarkable, genre-blurring, and brilliant writing takes us into a world of metaphor and myth and nature. Her world-building is as menacing and spectacular as that of Jeff VanderMeer and Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Elliott's true gift to the reader is a new perspective on Indigeneity which is both humbling and earth-shattering." —Heather O’Neill, author of When We Lost Our Heads

"Haunting and surreal, And Then She Fell had me questioning reality alongside Alice as she grappled with motherhood, being a writer, a wife, and feeling like an outsider in her own life. With its sharp wit and beautiful writing, this book had me flying through the pages." —Ana Reyes, author of The House in the Pines

"A stunning, propulsive novel that complexly folds generational love and mental health into a story about relationships: the ones we have with our ancestors, our family and friends, and ourselves. . . . I laughed, cried, and rooted for the women in these pages. For their unending love for each other in every timeline of life, and for the ways in which they continue to choose each other in spite of trauma, disorder, and colonial forces who hope they don’t. I’m so happy that a novel like this exists, and I am excited to see the future of writing that this work inspires. And Then She Fell is a triumph of a debut." ­—Jessica Johns, author of Bad Cree

"And Then She Fell is an incredible and indelible novel. It's full of wonder and surprise, full of life and heart. This book is a gift that breathes life into the reader. Alicia Elliott has given us a knockout—a book so good you can't put it down." —Morgan Talty, author of Night of the Living Rez

"And Then She Fell is an unblinking look at the complex and often terrifying journey of new motherhood and what we're told we should want, with moving insights into connecting with our ancestors and our own identity. Alicia Elliott is a powerful storyteller, and this book is both suspenseful and heartfelt, with haunting elements that linger long after the final page is turned." —Vanessa Lillie, author of Little Voices and Blood Sisters

About the Author:

Alicia Elliott is a Mohawk writer and editor living in Brantford, Ontario. She has written for The Globe and Mail, CBC, Hazlitt and many others. She's had numerous essays nominated for National Magazine Awards, winning Gold in 2017 and an honorable mention in 2020. Her short fiction was selected for Best American Short Stories 2018 (by Roxane Gay), Best Canadian Stories 2018 and Journey Prize Stories 30. Alicia was chosen by Tanya Talaga as the 2018 recipient of the RBC Taylor Emerging Writer Award. Her first book, A Mind Spread Out On The Ground, was a national bestseller in Canada. It was also nominated for the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction and won the Forest of Reading Evergreen Award.

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October 2023 New Arrivals