She doesn't exist. She can't exist.
'A uniquely gothic tale about grief, belonging and hiding in plain sight' Jess Kidd, author ofThings in Jars
'Those who live in the walls must adjust, must twist themselves around in their home,
stretching themselves until they're as thin as air. Not everyone can do what they can.
But soon enough, they can't help themselves. Signs of their presence remain in a house.
Eventually, every hidden thing is found.'
Elise knows every inch of the house. She knows which boards will creak. She knows where the gaps are in the walls. She knows which parts can take her in, hide her away. It's home, after all. The home her parents made for her. And home is where you stay, no matter what.
Eddie calls the same house his home. Eddie is almost a teenager now. He must no longer believe in the girl he sometimes sees from the corner of his eye. He needs her to disappear. But when his older brother senses her, too, they are faced with a question: how do they get rid of someone they aren't sure even exists?
And, if they cast her out, what other threats might they invite in?
A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, A. J. Gnuse received an MFA in fiction from UNC Wilmington and was a 2018 Kenyon Review Peter Taylor fellow. His short stories have been publishedin Guernica, Gulf Coast,Los Angeles Review, Passages Northand other magazines. Girl in the Walls is his first novel.
'Bold andcompelling, subtle and sublime, with writing so good that you're torn between racing ahead and lingering. I found myself holding my breath and never wanting to leave, despite the darkness. A uniquely gothic tale about grief, belonging and hiding in plain sight' Jess Kidd, author of Things in Jars
'Tense and terrifying, with echoes of Shirley Jackson … a spectacular debut. An elegant meditation on grief, love, and family, this truly extraordinary novel is a page-turner with deeply imagined characters, and A. J. Gnuse's prose is as sharp and precise and muscular as any I've seen' Elizabeth Wetmore, author of Valentine
'Clear your calendar. Once you start reading Girl in the Walls, you won't want to do anything else. Read it first for the thrill ride. Then read it a second time, slowly, to savor language that drips and swells with the terrifying beauty of a Gulf Coast hurricane. A riveting, astonishing, and flat-out gorgeous debut' Nina de Gramont, author of The Last September and The Mystery Writer
'Girl in the Walls is as much about willful Elise, who haunts her childhood home after losing her parents, as it is about the two boys who are afraid of her. Gnuse deftly explores the challenge of boyhood, the cost of appearing brave - of "manning up."' Maria Reva,author of Good Citizens Needs Not Fear
'Gnuse's first novel says that he is the real thing, out of the gate. May the race be long, with many more novels. But he will be hard-pressed to out-doGirl in the Walls' Clyde Edgerton, author ofThe Night Train
'From the very first page, I was gripped, chilled, and intrigued. This is an utterly original read that kept me at the edge of my seat and tugged at my heartstrings, all while making me fall in love with the beautiful Louisiana landscape that is so wonderfully portrayed' Caroline Mackenzie, author of One Year of Ugly