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Another Place You’ve Never Been

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Original Language: English (USA) | 304 pp. | September 2016

2 Seas Represents: Dutch, French and Nordic Rights

FICTION

Another Place You’ve Never Been is a gorgeous, witty novel that reminded me of Olive Kitteridge… if Olive had been a down-on-her-luck waitress dreaming of love in upstate New York. I loved this kindhearted, beautiful book.” —Amanda Ward, author of The Same Sky and How to be Lost

“In this mesmerizing novel, composed of short, powerful, interlocking stories, Rebecca Kauffman gives us a wide cast of characters struggling to find happiness, and maybe even transcendence, in a harsh landscape. At the center of it all is Tracy, a woman fighting against the odds, one of the most complex and memorable figures to appear in recent American fiction. Clear-eyed, witty, and dazzlingly inventive, this is a novel that disturbs and delights. An extraordinary debut.” —Brian Morton, author of Starting Out in the Evening and Florence Gordon

Most of us have experienced what it’s like to know what someone is going to say right before they say it. Or perhaps you have been shocked by the irrefutable phenomena of coincidence, when your life intersects with another’s in the most unlikely way. In gripping prose marked by stark simplicity, Another Place You’ve Never Been by debut novelist Rebecca Kauffman explores the intersection of human experience amidst the minutiae of everyday life.

In her mid-thirties and living in Buffalo, NY (where she is originally from), Tracy spends most days at the restaurant where she works as a hostess, despite her aspirations of a career that would make use of her creative talents. Tracy’s life is explored not only through her own personal point of view, but also through the viewpoints of other characters, wherein Tracy may only make a peripheral appearance or even emerge at different periods in her life.

Kauffman subtly exposes the lives of these characters — alongside the presences of spiritually mysterious Native American figures that appear throughout — and gradually reveals the true purposes of both as their paths intersect. This wonderful novel hails the emotional complexity and narrative scope of A Visit from the Goon Squad, and resonates with the strong mystical content found in Swamplandia! at its core, this book is a broad investigation of bold ideas such as the possibility that any person, at any time, in any place could find themselves shivering in the presence of great and ancient forces; and the notion that love is perhaps “far less voluntary” than we might believe it to be.