On a holiday island somewhere in the Aegean Sea, Jacqueline, a young Liberian woman, fends off starvation as she survives in the aftermath of unspeakable brutality. Having escaped the horrors of Charles Taylor's regime, she builds a home of sorts in a cave overlooking the ocean. During the day, she wanders the sunny beaches offering massages to tourists, one Euro for five minutes, all the while balancing her will to live with the crushing guilt of survival.
This hypnotic, lyrical and extraordinary novel tells the story of a woman existing in the wake of experiences so horrifying that she prefers homeless numbness to the psychological confrontation she knows is inevitable. It's a novel about memory. About storytelling. About how we live with what we know.
Alexander Maksik is a writer of exceptional gifts, able to deliver devastatingly powerful emotion through deceptively simple, lucid prose.
Alexander Maksik is the author of the novel You Deserve Nothing. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Best American Nonrequired Reading, Harper's, Tin House, Harvard Review, the New York Times Magazine, Salon and Narrative Magazine, among other publications and has been translated into more than a dozen languages. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, he is the recipient of fellowships from the Truman Capote Literary Trust and The Corporation of Yaddo. He has taught at the University of Iowa where he was the Provost's Postgraduate Visiting Writer in Fiction.