Marilou is Everywhere
by Sarah Elaine Smith
Pub Date 26 Mar 2020
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Richly atmospheric and darkly unforgettable, an astonishing American debut about lost innocence and life on the ragged margins of society
'Lyrical, sexy, humane, and just a total pleasure to read' Elif Batuman, author of The Idiot
'Remarkable. Fiction debuts this accomplished don't come along very often... Smith is a writer of immense talent and rare imagination [and] this novel reads like a miracle' - NPR
'To be honest, we just weren't looking that hard. Nobody knew where to search and it was summer vacation anyway - but that wasn't the reason nobody looked for Jude.'
One summer, a teenager disappears from Deep Valley, Pennsylvania. Jude, nicknamed Marilou, is beautiful, intelligent, and mixed race. The alarm is raised, the cops search for her - but not as hard as they would if she were a white girl. Watching this mystery unfold is Cindy, a younger girl from a white trash family, who has idolised Jude for years. And so, in the absence of anyone to give a damn about her, Cindy starts to slip out of her own life and into the space Jude left behind...
Marilou Is Everywhere is a story about the desperation to escape - and the terrible, intimate crimes we commit to do so. Swimming in the rich melancholia of rural America, it is a fall from grace, a moral provocation, and a heartbreaking account of life in the margins.
'One of the most exquisitely written books I've read in a long time. A haunting novel about craving escape so badly you're willing to erase yourself, by a writer I would follow anywhere' Julie Buntin, author of Marlena