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Another Place You’ve Never Been

List Price: $16.95

ON SALE: September 12, 2017 | Paperback | ISBN 9781640090071

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 though 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.

About Rebecca Kauffman

REBECCA KAUFMAN is from rural northeastern Ohio. She received her BA in Classical Violin Performance from the Manhattan School of Music, and an MFA in creative writing from New York University. She has worked primarily in restaurants and intermittently as a teacher. She currently lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

Praise

Longlisted for the 2016 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize

“While a series of stories don’t always add up to a novel, this is an accomplished debut—at times emotionally gritty but always emotionally true. For all fiction collections.”—Library Journal, Starred Review

“Kauffman’s immediately involving novel-in-stories, delivered in crisp language and with a strong sense of the characters surrounding her.” —Library Journal

“Fans of the vignette style of Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood” might enjoy Rebecca Kauffman’s take on the roman à clef. It’s an inventive debut that’s already been compared to Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squadand from an indie press, to boot!” —Huffington Post

“[A] wonderful debut… Watching how these characters intersect is incredibly satisfying. In clear and vivid prose, Kauffman potently depicts lonely and isolated lives, marked by rash decisions made in the hope of finding connection. By the end of the novel, the pieces of the puzzle that is Tracy’s life fit together, her disappointments as much a part of her as her small victories, resulting in an undeniably moving and emotionally true portrayal of the kitchen sink of human experience.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Kauffman’s compassion for her lonely characters is evident. “—Kirkus

Through the eyes of the characters in these stories—many tragic but making the best of what they have—we glimpse Kauffman’s deep and abiding empathy.”—Read it Forward, Favorite Read for October

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

“Kauffman’s prose is spare and vivid. She knows just the right details to bring a place or a person to life. It’s fun to anticipate the connections among characters from story to story, and to watch Tracy realize how the relationship with her father has colored her choices…Another Place You’ve Never Been is a moving, elegantly constructed tribute to human frailty and loss, and to our stubborn insistence on striving for human connection despite a slew of obstacles. In the character of Tracy, Kauffman has given us a fascinating portrait of a modern, tragic heroine, and a lens into our own darkest, most hopeful places.”—Fiction Advocate

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