The Answers (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Extremely unique and ambitious, this illuminating novel considers whether some questions can really be answered.  In a desperate attempt to address some of her life's complications, Mary becomes involved in a movie star's experiment to engineer the perfect relationship and find scientifically lasting love.  Filled with intelligence, unexpected humor, and superb prose, this is a masterful exploration of what can truly be measured as we try to know another person.

— kelly


An urgent, propulsive novel about a woman learning to negotiate her ailment and its various aftereffects via the simulacrum of a perfect romantic relationship

In Catherine Lacey's ambitious second novel we are introduced to Mary, a young woman living in New York City and struggling to cope with a body that has betrayed her. All but paralyzed with pain, Mary seeks relief from a New Agey treatment called Pneuma Adaptive Kinesthesia, PAKing for short. And, remarkably, it works. But PAKing is prohibitively expensive and Mary is dead broke. So she scours Craigslist for fast-cash jobs and finds herself applying for the Girlfriend Experiment, the brainchild of an eccentric and narcissistic actor, Kurt Sky, who is determined to find the perfect relationship even if that means paying different women to fulfill distinctive roles. Mary is hired as the Emotional Girlfriend certainly better than the Anger Girlfriend or the Maternal Girlfriend and is pulled into Kurt's ego-driven and messy attempt at human connection.

Told in her signature spiraling prose, The Answers is full of the singular yet universal insights readers have come to expect from Lacey. It is a gorgeous hybrid of the plot- and the idea-driven novel that will leave you reeling.

About the Author

Catherine Lacey is the author of Nobody Is Ever Missing, winner of a 2016 Whiting Award and a finalist for the New York Public Library's Young Lions Fiction Award, and The Answers. In 201, she was named one of Granta's Best Young American Novelists. Her essays and fiction have been published widely and translated into Italian, French, Dutch, Spanish, and German. Born in Mississippi, she is now based in Chicago.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780374100261
ISBN-10: 0374100268
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: June 6th, 2017
Pages: 304
Language: English