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10 thoughts on “Pew

  1. Adam Dalva Adam Dalva says:

    It’s like a seuence of Rachel Cusk scenes inside a William Gass novel with a cathartic wild climax Excited to talk about this one when it comes out A ferociously 2020 novel and somehow timeless


  2. Amalia Gavea Amalia Gavea says:

    ''These people go out into the street and walk down the street alone They keep walking and walk straight out of the city of Omelas through the beautiful gates They keep walking across the farmlands of Omelas Each one goes alone youth or girl man or woman Night falls;''''The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas'' Ursula K Le Guin In a church of a sleepy town somewhere in the American South a being is found And I use the word ''being'' because no one can determine whether the stranger is a boy or a girl They are named ''Pew'' after the pew they were found on The residents of the town seem to be fascinated by the unexpected visitor they offer hospitality and ''protection'' believing that the silent Pew is the perfect listened to accept their confessions Pew listens and watches but rarely speaks only nods When someone doesn't speak judgement and condemnation stay away for the ones who confess their sins But their ''confessions'' are meaningless and things are bound to change when Pew doesn't behave exactly as they expect ''I do wish they bloomed this time of year It would give me some relief But you can tell a tree whatever you like it won't even listen'' ''All this bitterness Everyone wants to be the one who's right'' Pew is an innocent bystander a silent watcher an unwilling listener and confidante because of their silence What initially appears as a confession of wrong choices and guilt uickly turns into the worst form of patronization and manipulation behind the facade of ''innocent'' curiosity and kindness Pew hasn't asked for their ''help'' These people aren't driven by kindness and generosity but by a frightening urge to alter the ''different'' the one they cannot understand the one who doesn't fall into their precious perfect tags If you don't like to talk you are strange dangerous We live in societies where everyone wants to ''talk'' and ends up saying nothing at allAct nice look nice Everyone's watching you What would the neighbours say? The plague of all small communities Wealth dictates whether you will be ''respected'' or not as Hilda demonstrates Hilda Hideous Hilda the epitome of the uneducated housewife Mr Kercher young Annie and Roger are tiny dots of light on a map filled with vicious people ''After all the moon was here calm night warm and easy air and all of it was ours'' The frail body and the pale moon echo Pew's presence Who is Pew? An archangel? A spirit? Pew ethereal and earthy Pew led from one resident to another first as if they were an exhibition item Then carried away like Jesus from Caiaphas to Herod to Pontius Pilate And once religion is distorted to justify the rot in people's souls their horrible actions their ''morality'' of stupidity and hatredLacey creates a modern classic Classics mirror our societies' wrongdoings and Lacey excels Think of all those American sects the charlatans the hysteric so called ''priests'' that scream and pretend to ''heal'' people who are desperate uneducated and stupid enough to believe them There isn't an ounce of forgiveness in this awful lot in this god forsaken town somewhere in the American South In a society where crying children are psychologically abused for disturbing the peace and upsetting the others No one gives a damn about their feelingsAnd the mob will always hold a trial about things they cannot understand The mob will always believe they have the right to decide what is true and what is not And there is nothing Christian in this behaviour White people black peopleThey all treat Pew in the same horrible way Narrow mindedness doesn't discriminate It concerns every race every religion every individualNeedless to say this novel made me furious Needless to say every reader should choose Pew as their next read ''Some years but gone now They had ended and would never return and would never end They were mine or had been mine but now they were somewhere else somewhere near and far from me They didn't belong to anyone those untouchable years All that was left of them was their imprint the empty field they'd left in me'' Many thanks to Granta Publications and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest reviewMy reviews can also be found on


  3. Elyse Walters Elyse Walters says:

    I sat thinking about this book for awhile Easy to ‘surface read’ harder to figure out the mystery At first I wondered about the obvious thingswas Pew a girl or boy?where did Pew come from?what ethnicity was Pew?and —did Pew really have no past memory or was she just being silent? Pew the given name by the townspeople from a small American southern towncould not answer the local priest or anyone what gender she was “Once someone said I had a slender neck a woman’s neck they recall a woman’s neck growing from the thick shoulders of a man but maybe it was the other way around; anything I remember being told about my body contradicts something else I’ve been told” Then I wondered about the other issueswhy did Pew show up in this town this particular Church?what did the Christian family parents Hilda Steve and their kids each hope to achieve by taking Pew in? Pew was uestioned and evaluated by many From art therapy mental health uestioning and religious inuiry she was put through the ringer Reading Pew brings thoughts and thoughts to thoughtsGreed love Godare things children know but how do they know these things different from adults?I tried to ‘really’ explore this uestion for myself besides a pat answer Pew felt off balanced”sideways tilt” As a reader I too was aware of being tilted sideways The mystiue is odd eerie but brilliantly uniue I felt like I was taken into a funhouse with distorted mirrors those mirrors that make your reflection appear short and fat or tall and longWas Catherine Lacey wanting readers to look at how wobbly destructive and unsteady life is? If yesI’m looking honest I am And beauty what is the conversation we have when it’s mixed with injustice and other unsettling issues? There were several scenes that felt very symbolic to me representing how abstract and silent life is under our chatter of righteousness and prejudices Pew pushed the boundaries of comfortableness with her ’thoughts of nothingness’A TV went white then blankA Heron few away body and shape was irrelevant “Pew listened to others but did not listen at the same time” Couldn’t we talk about the meaning of this one sentence in further depth? Small things come with gems Pew is small in size not a long book but is huge in contemplation By the end I was left thinking about the spiritual universe Is there an enlightened approach to forgiveness impermanence and a way to deal meaningfully with them I can’t say I fully comprehended all that Catherine Lacey wroteNot sure we are suppose tobut her sentences and reflective dialogue were powerfully intriguingThis little book grew on meI read and re read scenesUltimately I found “Pew” to be an opening fulfilling path to understanding and healing ourselves and finding peace


  4. Cecily Cecily says:

    BeforeThis exuisite little contemporary fable is prefaced by a long uote from Ursula Le Guin’s short story The Ones Who Walk Away From OmelasBut don’t read or reread Omelas before reading this bookAnd don’t read the spoilered bit of this review or others either until afterwardsReviews should avoid plot spoilers they’re vague in the spoilered section below but with this story you want to avoid interpretive spoilers tooAll you need to know is that it is an observational introspective philosophical and unsentimental story narrated by a voluntary mute who is found asleep on a pew in a church of an idyllic small US town The parishioners want to help “Pew” but are unsettled by not knowing or even agreeing on anything about Pew not even their gender race or whether teen or young adult Read the book without preconceptions and let Pew paint a uniue canvas just for you Whether impressionist abstract classical or surrealist and whether portrait still life or landscape the picture you receive won’t be the same as mine but both will be works of art Image Painter with paint palette SourceDuringNature abhors a physical vacuum and people rush to fill gaps of silence and knowledge Pew’s narration with a gently escalating sense of unspecified and maybe imagined foreboding tempts the reader to do likewise Even the period and place have uicksilver ualities Time is somewhere else and what I see here is not the present but is instead the future an eventual future and somehow the present moment is back there somewhere I cannot reach and I'm stuck living here in some future timeAfterview spoilerThe story takes place over the week leading up to and culminating in the annual Forgiveness Festival Pew spends time with different people old and young insiders and outsiders This section lists some of the themes supported by uotes It’s not really a “review”LabelsLike Pew the book defies easy single categorisation Many ideas and themes are touched on often obliuely All are open to interpretation and debate about their significance And yet the lack of labels is what most troubles people “ What are you? A horrible uestion” with lots of possible answers The urge to label and categorise is hard to resist but it’s based on generalisations and stereotypes It's always limiting and sometimes it's damagingGenderIn particular the parishioners want to know Pew’s gender “ You have to be one or the other” though they soften that by saying it’s fine for Pew to look how they do They are at pains to say they want to be fair and treat everyone eually but Always a “but”Even Pew seems uncertain “ Once someone said I had a slender neck a woman’s neck a woman’s neck growing from the thick shoulders of a man but maybe it was the other way around Anything I remember being told about my body contradicts something else I’ve been told” Race“ I look at my skin and I cannot say what shade it is”The idyllic community is implied to be white when Pew is taken to visit a minister in “ the black side of town” There have been lynchings in living memory and a person who “ didn’t match the rest of us” is noted Body“ The body is your tomb with endless needs and betrayals”“ Why do we draw our conclusions based on the body when the body is so inconclusive so mercurial?” Pew often mentions dissociation from their own body contrasted with their affinity for nature I imagined a life in which only our thoughts and intentions could be seen where our bodies were not flesh a disembodied world one where ideas could hold other ideas and death couldn't end thoughts Our bodies wouldn't hold us backLGBT“ Nobody is just one person”The concern about not knowing Pew’s gender is the same as those who push “bathroom bills” there’s a strange dream about another sort of transition one character hints that he’s gay and a teen is sent home from school for arguing against fixed binary sex and gender and mentioning asexual and other forms of reproduction in natureImage Pregnant male seahorses SourceMute“ You’re right not to say anything They hear what they want”A mute is a blank canvas obviously Less obviously they are a mirror Few people like silence for long so they pour out their concerns and also make assumptions that reveal about them than the subject Carson McCullers also explored this with Singer in The Heart is a Lonely Hunter which I reviewed HERE“ I faintly felt an urge to speak though I had nothing to say”MemoryPew doesn’t knowremember how old they are or much else but gradually slivers of half memories bubble up “ I began to both remember and lose the shape of the years that had led me here”Pew has insight and empathy“ I don’t know how it is I can sometimes see all these things in people See these silent things to see through those masks”But at times their observations sound like a newly arrived alien “ A person draped in heavy cloth stood at the front of the church and said things in such a way to make those words seem obvious and true”and“ On the television was a map of the town with an animated curdle of clouds moving across it”But sometimes basic vocabulary eludes them“ A woman appeared on the screen smiling and explaining what she believed the sky would do for the next few days”Religion“ We know God sent you for a reason”The backdrop or the heart of the book?“ It was easy to see how intensely one could want to belong here”A friendly church but with an increasingly cultish tinge A person has to be careful about the voices they listen toSecrecy “ Everybody knows and nobody says”And worse “ The guns are symbolic of the power of God”ForgivenessIt’s all leading up to the Forgiveness Festival That has to be good right? Forgiveness is sometimes just a costume for forgetting I’m not sure I agree but anyway the aim is to forgive everything and then forget the forgiving Is forgetting possible? I don’t think so Stress crime and heart attacks increase just before the forgiveness festival and “ It’s worse for the girls” What is “it”? By now the picture is darker; Omelas looms collective guilt pre crime scapegoats or walk away?Mystery“ I hadn’t come here I knew then I had always been here” hide spoiler


  5. Fran Fran says:

    The only reason I've gone to a church was to sleepa church is a structure with walls a roofpretty windowsyou can't see outsidebutit can keep the outside far from youI woke up on a pew sleeping on my side knees bent Discovered by Hilda and Steven Bonner they decided to host Pew a nameless person of indeterminate gender race and age Members of this small insular God fearing community were expected to be kind and compassionate Pew thinks I had known hunger so well and for so longbut now faced with all this I could hardly eatI wished I could have reached back and given one of the meals to myself in those days of hunger in the pastCompassion turned to frustration and distrust When askeddid God make you a boy or girl? No response if I could have spokenbeen loosened from the grip of memorya past a memory of my past an originwhat a freedom that was and what a burden that was Approached by community members trying to engage himher in conversation Pew's silence was deafeningIn first person narration Pew highlights his role as confessor being non conversational possibly by choice allows the speaker to escape judgement Take Mrs Gladstone Her face'peace and terror tangled together' as she tells Pew about her husband's deathbed confession A newer member of the community Roger asks is remaining silenthaving a positive effect or a negative one on your life? Over the course of a week some churchgoers feel Pew was sent there for a reason others find his presence ominous Saturday will be the yearly Forgiveness Festival a ritual embraced by many Pew needs to be prepared for the upcoming dayPew by Catherine Leary uses the ruminations of Pew to provide commentary on the absurdity of humans People hear what they wanteveryone knew everyone and they all belonged to one another There was a certainty a clarity Pew defied definition we know we haven't always been fair to everyoneBut we've always been fair to people according to what the definition of fair was at the time This short powerful tome is unsettling Everywhere you turn people are hurtAll this bitterness everyone wants to be the one who's right A novel for our timesThank you Farrar Straus and Giroux and Net Galley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review


  6. Diane S ☔ Diane S ☔ says:

    A small Southern town A church loving community that prides itself on doing the right thing raising their children the right way Going about their lives in a predictable fashion until something unpredictable happens Attending church they are confronted by a stranger a young person sleeping in one of the pews They can't tell what sex the person is his old he is they even disagree on his color Who is it where did this person come from? No one knows and this person won't or can't speak Doing the right thing a family takes him home Christian charity opening their house and hoping they can get some answers They name the person Pew after the place where heshe was foundWhat happens after this as Pew goes from family to family is the story How he is treated what people say and since this is a firstPerson narration we learn thoughts directly from PewAll this leads up to the Churches forgivness festival a strange ceremony indeed The denoument the ending I will leave up to future readers Strange days indeedBeautifully written with universal themes Judging a person by the way one looks and how someone that cannot be defined can cause discomfort and suspicion I liked this a very different type of story One that makes the reader thinkARC from Edelweiss


  7. Marchpane Marchpane says:

    In a small insular and religious town a stranger is found asleep in the church The young person of ambiguous gender and race refuses to speak and so is named ‘Pew’ after the place they were foundThat description hooked me enough to pick up Catherine Lacey’s Pew As I began to read I found to my delight that it also blends the influence of Carson McCullers and Jesse Ball with Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” and Ursula K Le Guin’s “The Ones Who Walked Away from Omelas”This slim novel is sensitive and thoughtful written in a simple poetic but unfussy style I enjoyed reading it uite a lot as it follows Pew over the course of a week leading up to the town’s ‘Forgiveness Festival’ Pew’s refusal to speak allows the townspeople to open up in order to fill the void; one by one they pour their stories out as Pew becomes almost a confessor It is a terrific way to structure a novel As an homage it is rather lovely and skilfully done But by the end I felt that it followed in the tradition of its predecessors a little too closely Perhaps ironically I wanted Pew to be its own uniue self just a tiny bit 35 stars


  8. Meike Meike says:

    This short novel cleverly explores compassion religion and the human longing to categorize others in order to feel safe and comfortable The title giving Pew is a young person of indeterminate gender race class and birthplace who mostly refuses to speak thus not giving their surroundings the possibility to easily ascribe certain ualities and traits to them Reminiscient of Bartleby the Scrivener they refuse to participate in society the way they are expected to this act of resistance is both rooted in their belief that people should not be judged by superficial categories and the conviction that language is ultimately failing to properly capture and express thoughts a word is put down as a place holder for something that cannot be communicated no matter what anyone tries At the beginning of the novel our protagonist is discovered sleeping in a church pew and a family offers them to stay in their home The small community names the visitor Pew after the place where they were found and the church members try to find out who Pew is and what happened to them As Pew mostly does not respond people just go on talking some because they are unsettled by the silence some because they enjoy that someone is listening without judging or interrupting Pew becomes both a confessor and a source of contention as for many people Pew's refusal to explain themselves is hard to bear The villager who becomes closest to Pew is a young refugee from a war torn country who does speak but as a brown skinned foreigner from a poor and ravaged region is not taken seriously by most inhabitants As the date for the enigmatic forgiveness festival approaches hello The Lottery the reader starts to uestion which role Pew is supposed to play thereTold over the course of one week this compact text offers insights into the minds of various characters who speak about love loss racism faith family guilt and loneliness Lacey just lets them talk sometimes rambling sometimes painfully sometimes insincerely As we listen from Pew's point of view their open and often child like outlook exposes faults and insecurities without ridiculing them The novel is dedicated to Jesse Ball and not only is Ball's classic theme of human compassion vs human cruelty at the center of the story see Ball's Census some of Pew's observations are directly linked to Sleep Death's Brother and the festival is reminiscent of the ritual in Ball's The Divers' Game Pew himself sounds like they could be related to the young protagonist in How to Set a Fire and Why although they take a different approach to counter human shortcomings Pew knows that people and their words can be dangerous A person has to be careful about the voices they listen to the faces they let themselves see This novel is full of poetic sensibilty and finds a unusual voice that highlights the everyday absurdity of human behavior Intelligent and compassionate this text is a real treat


  9. Paul Fulcher Paul Fulcher says:

    A word is put down as a placeholder for something that cannot be communicated no matter what anyone tries no matter how many words accumulate there is always that absence I stayed silentIn Catherine Lacey's fable like new novel a stranger arrives in a close knit community one where religion plays a big part They are discovered during a Sunday service where they had been sleeping overnight in a church pew Where they are from and who they are is a mystery not just to the townspeople but also to themselves Lacey taking the artistically brave decision to use a first person narrator Really whatever you’d like to be called that’s all we’re asking I didn’t want to be called anythingAll I could have told the Reverend if I could have spoken was that I was human just as he was human only missing a few things he seemed to think I needed— a past a memory of my past an origin— I had none of that I felt I wasn’t the only one that there must have been others that I was a part of a “we” only I didn’t know where they were We were and I was not entirely alone Maybe we were all looking for one another without knowing itIn the absence of another name they are given the name Pew and invited to live with the family who first discovered them They are taken to meet a wide range of the community in the hope that someone will encourage them to open up But while these others often project their own situation onto Pew Pew remains largely silent only very occasionally speaking and then only briefly usually to those who are themselves outsiders The biggest frustration for the locals is their inability to pin Pew down even their age an adolescent or a young adult? gender or race We ask Pew where they’ve come from—nothing What he needs—nothing What happened to him—or her uite frankly we still don’t know if Pew is a boy or girl we don’t know Pew’s age we don’t know Pew’s real name or if anyone out there might be missing Pew—and even if we ask any of these things we get nothing And there’s not even any agreement about Pew’s heritage his nationality her race—everyone’s in disagreement about where Pew might be from and it’s troubling ain’t it?whereas in the community itself at least on the surface everyone knew everyone and they all belonged to one another There was a certainty a clarity a real joy that fused them all into one into one massive entity the weight of their years all pressed together thousands of years in the room all together like that entwined with one another no distance between any of them no loneliness no solitude— and it was easy to see just then how intensely one could want to belong hereAlthough the reader's experience from some of Pew's encounters with individuals might suggest otherwise encounters which have element of Rachel Cusk's Outline albeit here there is a crucial difference we learn much about the community than about Pew whereas one suspects Cusk's narrator is projecting her own issues on those whose stories she reports here others project their issues and prejudices onto PewBut Pew ultimately yearns for a different world I shut my eyes and imagined a life in which only our thoughts and intentions could be seen where our bodies were not flesh but something else something that was than all this skin this weight For a few moments I forgot where I was I finished the glass of milk without realizing it lost in the idea of a disembodied world one where ideas could hold other ideas where thoughts could see other thoughts and death couldn’t end thoughts where one remained alive by thinking and was not alive if not thinking Somehow our bodies wouldn’t hold us back the way they do here Somehow our bodies wouldn’t determine our lives the lives of others the ways in which one life could or could not meet the life of another We would not have to sleep or slam doors or exist in these cells that eat other cells and die anyway these cells we live inThe town is particularly tense due to mysterious disappearances over in the neighbouring county and the approach of an annual ritualised Festival taking place at the end of the week The chapters of the novel are based on days of the week leading to the Festival itself on the Saturday giving the novel an ominous toneAs for what the Festival constitutes and how the novel ends no spoilers here but it is in any case open to interpretation indeed it treads a slightly uneasy path between a deliberate open ending which I would prefer although it does seem to have left many reviewers unsatisfied and giving one particular slant in terms of the book's main messageThis comment from one of the community suggests one key theme we know we haven’t always been fair to everyone Certainly— no But we’ve always been fair to people according to what the definition of fair was at the time And there is an related and explicit link to the failings of a justice system based on confessions under duress a theme of Jesse Ball's see below Silence Once Begun see also this Guardian review which the author herself as endorsed as capturing what she intended by the bookThere is also a very direct and clever nod to The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas by Ursula K Le Guin a uote from which forms the epigraph when Pew does towards the novel's end recover one seeming memory I began to both remember and lose the shape of the years that had led me here I could remember a low windowless room Three paces by two paces A damp floor The taste of blood A childwhich is a very direct lift from the room in Le Guin's story a textual cross over between stories a dream a memory from Pew of reading the book a coincidence?And the Guardian review highlights two subtle allusions relating to the novel's ending that would otherwise have passed me byIndeed this is a novel where I felt 'spoilers' actually enhance the experience I'd strongly suggest reading the Guardian review I would even suggest before the book but certainly afterwards The novel is dedicated to Jesse Ball Lacey's partner and includes the wonderful acknowledgement Jesse Ball is a mysterious weather pattern that has never been directly observed and can only be measured by its aftermath It certainly shares similarities with his fable like yet highly political stories although she doesn't follow his trademark approach of writing a book in a few days and then not revising it telling an interviewer The first draft took about two months I read it several months later and found that most of it was bad so I rewrote it uickly I repeated this process five or six times between 2016 and 2019 and eventually found that when I had my main character listen to other characters it made the creation and deletion of dozens of pages much easier It was as if—oh I didn’t write that I just heard someone say it from indeed Lacey recalled in a recorded conversation between them that pretty much the first thing she ever said to Ball was “I’ve heard about your methods and I find them suspicious”But if I had one issue with the novel it is that it did seem to rely on an unfavourable caricature of institutionalised religion albeit one the author has suggested is rooted in her own upbringingArtistically too as a number of reviewers have noted it may lean a little too heavily on Le Guin and Shirley Jackson the overlaps with Ball's novels are a case of mutual influence This interview from 2018 was interesting in that regard as the Le Guin influence is clearly very deliberate hereSR You once described yourself as a “spongy” writer someone who absorbs and inadvertently mimics the styles of other writers What writers do you feel spongiest toward? When you notice this foreign voice in your work do you let it stay or do you mute that voice in the next draft?CL You must learn to use that sponginess as a tool I feel If a writer does this to you you must only read them when you want to use their voice as a direct influence on a particular work I think I contracted a mental virus from Thomas Bernhard about ten years ago and I still work around the scar tissue He’s a dangerous one And my partner has noticed that often when I complain about something it often comes out sounding like a Lydia Davis story Representative complaints You’re often walking a few paces ahead of me; The bird you pointed out flew away before I could see it; We cannot understand why everyone dislikes our friend Margaret Davis has completely colonized a part of my brain and I think she’s brilliant so it’s fine with meOverall though a fascinating novel 4 stars for for amount it made me think although I preferred her debut novel Nobody Is Ever Missing Thanks to the publisher via Netgalley for the ARC


  10. Barbara Barbara says:

    35 stars I’m not sure how I feel about “Pew” by Catherine Lacey I enjoyed the beginning; it was the end that left me in a jumbled mess of nothingThe story illuminates our cultures need to categorize each other Lacey shows how people find it difficult to interact with and communicate with a person if we do not know their gender age race background and circumstances In this story a person our narrator who really narrates through thoughts decides to nap in a church A family finds himherthey in “their” pew and decide to be “Christian” and take this individual home uickly it becomes increasingly awkward because our mute narrator doesn’t talk or communicate its age or gender The pastor of the church declares “its” name “pew” because that’s where “it” was foundBeing mute encourages whoever is with himher to fill in the uiet space and talk nonstop Lacey provides the reader with glimpses of other’s souls and feelings as they ramble away to Pew It’s attractive to talk to someone who will never talk backto anyone Souls are borneLacey pokes fun at the Christian people who think they are doing holy things and really are judgmental and not so “Christian” The small town where Pew was found has a “Forgiveness Festival” which Lacey builds up through suspense There was great potential in this Festival in my opinion but she left the reader adriftI did enjoy how she examined our cultures need for identification and categorization Pew uestions why a person’s body is so important Why is skin color sex age significant? It’s an interesting concept writing a novel with a mute narrator who has no identifying characteristics I didn’t understand why Lacey included the “Forgiveness Festival”


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Pew ❮Reading❯ ➳ Pew ➬ Author Catherine Lacey – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk In a small unnamed town in the American South a church congregation arrives to a service and finds a figure asleep on a pew The person is genderless racially ambiguous and refuses to speak One family In a small unnamed town in the American South a church congregation arrives to a service and finds a figure asleep on a Pew The person is genderless racially ambiguous and refuses to speak One family takes the strange visitor in and nicknames them PewAs the town spends the week preparing for a mysterious Forgiveness Festival Pew is shuttled from one household to the next The earnest and seemingly well meaning townspeople see conflicting identities in Pew and many confess their fears and secrets to them in one sided conversations Pew listens and observes while experiencing brief flashes of past lives or clues about their origins As days pass the void around Pew’s presence begins to unnerve the community whose generosity erodes into menace and suspicion Yet by the time Pew’s story reaches a shattering and unsettling climax at the Forgiveness Festival the secret of their true nature—as a devil or an angel or something else entirely—is dwarfed by even larger truths Pew Catherine Lacey’s third novel is a foreboding provocative and amorphous fable about the world today its contradictions its flimsy morality and the limits of judging others based on their appearance With precision and restraint one of our most beloved and boundary pushing writers holds up a mirror to her characters’ true selves revealing something about forgiveness perception and the faulty tools society uses to categorize human complexity.

  • Hardcover
  • 224 pages
  • Pew
  • Catherine Lacey
  • English
  • 12 March 2014
  • 9780374230920

About the Author: Catherine Lacey

Catherine Lacey is the author of the novels NOBODY IS EVER MISSING and THE ANSWERS both of which has been translated into Italian French Dutch German and Spanish She is the winner of a Whiting Award a finalist for the NYPL's Young Lions Fiction Award and a NYFA fellow Her essays and short fiction have been published in The New York Times Harper's Magazine Vogue Virginia uarterly.