Author: Gilliss, Meghan

Publication Date:

September 2022



Original language and publisher

English | Catapult

Territories Handled

English (World)


Literary Fiction


Author: Gilliss, Meghan


Lungfish is a force of nature—a deeply felt marvel of a book that navigates grief, parenthood, and the mysteries of family with unrelenting power and precision. Here is a story about the islands we build and carry with us. Here is storytelling at its best. — Paul Yoon, author of Snow Hunters and Run Me to Earth

For readers of Jenny Offill, Marilynne Robinson, and Claire-Louise Bennett, Lungfish is the shimmering and suspenseful story of a mother pushed to the edge by unseen forces as she and her family find themselves squatting on an otherwise uninhabited island off the coast of Maine.

Tuck is slow to understand the circumstances that have driven her family to an uninhabited island off the coast of Maine, the former home of her deceased grandmother where she once spent her childhood summers. Squatting there now, she must care for her spirited young daughter and scrape together enough money to leave before winter arrives—or before they are found out.

Relying on the island for sustenance and answers—bladderwrack, rosehips, tenacious little green crabs; smells held by the damp walls of the house, field guides and religious texts, a failed invention left behind by her missing father—Tuck lives moment-by-moment through the absurdity, beauty, paranoia, and hunger that shoots through her life, as her husband struggles to detox.

Exquisitely written and formally daring, Lungfish tells the story of a woman grappling through the lies she has been told—and those she has told herself—to arrive at the truth of who she is and where she must go. Meghan Gilliss’s debut is a brilliant and heartbreaking novel about addiction, doubt, marriage, motherhood, and learning to see in the dark.