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An electrifying debut novel from one of the most exciting new voices in contemporary fiction

**SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2018**
**A New York Times Notable Book 2018**
'Daisy Johnson is a new goddamn swaggering monster of fiction.'
Lauren Groff

Words are important to Gretel, always have been. As a child, she lived on a canal boat with her mother, and together they invented a language that was just their own. She hasn’t seen her mother since the age of sixteen, though – almost a lifetime ago – and those memories have faded. Now Gretel works as a lexicographer, updating dictionary entries, which suits her solitary nature.

A phone call from the hospital interrupts Gretel’s isolation and throws up questions from long ago. She begins to remember the private vocabulary of her childhood. She remembers other things, too: the wild years spent on the river; the strange, lonely boy who came to stay on the boat one winter; and the creature in the water – a canal thief? – swimming upstream, getting ever closer. In the end there will be nothing for Gretel to do but go back.

Daisy Johnson’s debut novel turns classical myth on its head and takes readers to a modern-day England unfamiliar to most. As daring as it is moving, Everything Under is a story of family and identity, of fate, language, love and belonging that leaves you unsettled and unstrung.

Reviews

Everything Under grabbed me from the first page and wouldn’t let me go. To read Daisy Johnson is to have that rare feeling of meeting an author you’ll read for the rest of your life.

Evie Wyld

A deeply involving, unsettling novel that pulls the reader into a uniquely eerie yet recognisable world.

Sunday Times

A stunning debut novel. Blending a deep understanding of character and storytelling examination… the result reminds me of Iris Murdoch… Johnson’s affinity for the natural world is extraordinary.

Jeff VanderMeer, Guardian

I’m under the spell of an extraordinary book… Everything Under [is] a gift from a wise and empathetic friend who understands the gypsy gift of storytelling – to transcend and enthral.

Laura Bailey, Vogue

Hypnotic, disquieting and thrilling. A concoction of folklore, identity and belonging which sinks its fangs into the heart of you.

Irenosen Okojie

Surprising, gorgeously written, and profoundly unsettling, this genderfluid retelling of Oedipus Rex will sink into your bones and stay there.

Carmen Maria Machado

Johnson excels at making psychic phenomena feel visceral.

Observer

[Daisy Johnson’s] first novel confirms not only her talent, but her ambition… Johnson’s dense, begrimed retelling [of the Oedipus myth] hums with an electricity pylon-charge of danger, and her sentences repeatedly flare with startling, visceral coinages.

Daily Mail

Saturated in mythology and fairy tales, Everything Under is weird and wild and wonderfully unsettling. Daisy Johnson writes in a torrent of language as unrelenting and turbulent and dark as the river at the book’s heart; dive in for just a moment and you’ll emerge gasping and haunted.

Celeste Ng

Everything Under seeped through to my bones. Reaching new depths hinted at in Fen, language and landscape turn strange, full of creeping horror and beauty. It is precise in its terror, and its tenderness. An ancient myth masterfully remade for our uncertain times.

Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Daisy Johnson is a new goddamn swaggering monster of fiction.

Lauren Groff

A triumph: a novel that feels inexorable, messy and profound all at once.

Anna Leszkiewicz, New Statesman

The kind of book that worms its way into your brain, leaving echoes of its story and world long after it is back on the shelf… beautifully creepy and affecting

Rebecca Nicholson, Observer

[Daisy Johnson's] first collection Fen drew comparisons to Angela Carter and Graham Swift and there is an otherworldly, folkloric tinge to her inventive first novel although it is set in modern-day, rural England... Beautiful.

Alice O'Keeffe, Bookseller *Editor's Choice*

Infused with dark fairy tale, Oedipal tragedy and Freudian desire, this is a brambly, atmospheric and immersive tale… Johnson’s [Everything Under] shines in its use of language.

Ellen Wiles, Times Literary Supplement

A weird and wonderful revisioning of Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex… Johnson writes with a mesmerising blend of the naturalistic and the surreal, spinning physical descriptions of muscular beauty… This is a novel that drives to its tragic outcome with the twisting but unstoppable logic of a river to the sea.

Rebecca Abrams, Financial Times

A formally ambitious novel with a thriller’s heart and intimate attention to the power of language.

Vanity Fair

A hybrid of Alexander Trocchi’s 1954 murder-on-a-canal novel Young Adam and Angela Carter at her most witchy and far-out, Everything Under is creative writing of distinction.

Ian Thomson, Evening Standard

A fantastically dark reinvention of the myth of Oedipus… a complicated but deeply satisfying novel.

Stylist

Encompassing myth, fairy tale and haunting language, Johnson's earthy and timeless depictions of gender and sexuality turn an old tale into something entirely current.

New Statesman

Everything Under is an unusual and eerily atmospheric read from new talent Daisy Johnson.

Good Housekeeping

Explores femininity, family and identity with a timeline and narrators that eddy and clash like sticks thrown into a river... like a current, it soon carries you away.

Natalie Bowen, Scotsman

Impressive.

Daily Telegraph

This is a thrilling novel… Like Daisy Johnson’s startling debut, the short-story collection Fen, this lyrical, multi-layered novel explores her deep love and understanding of the natural world and shadowy people eking out a living close to it. She writes beautifully and vividly… with a brooding atmosphere that draws the reader into an uncanny and menacing watery world. It is exquisitely written, but very affecting.

Rebecca Wallersteiner, Lady

Everything Under is otherworldly and captivating… a book that is as beautifully human as it is delightfully strange.

Caught by the River

Imaginative and innovative... there is a spellbinding tension. As the threads move towards a common end, you’re a child who wants to know the magic.

Jonathan McAloon, Irish Times

The novel is set mainly on and around a river in Oxfordshire, and the murky, twisting qualities of this waterway are reflected in the narrative and characterization… Infused with dark fairy tale, Oedipal tragedy and Freudian desire, this a brambly, atmospheric and immersive tale.

Ellen Wiles, Times Literary Supplement

A thrilling novel with psychoanalytic undercurrents… this lyrical, multi-layered novel explores her deep love and understanding of the natural world and shadowy people eking out a living close to it. She writes beautifully and vividly… This is a dark, unsettling and original read, with a brooding atmosphere that draws the reader into an uncanny and menacing watery world.

Rebecca Wallersteiner, The Lady

Johnson writes with a mesmerising blend of the naturalistic and the surreal, spinning physical descriptions of muscular beauty… Boundaries of all kinds are mutable in this novel, prone to dissolution and transformation.

Rebecca Abrams, Financial Times

A contemporary reworking of the Oedipus myth that is as readable as it is dazzling, full of unsettling twists and dark revelations

Alex Preston, Observer

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Formats & editions

  • Hardback

    9781910702345

    July 15, 2018

    Jonathan Cape

    272 pages

    RRP $35.00

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Paperback

    9781784702113

    February 19, 2019

    Vintage

    272 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Extract

One

Beyond the Black Stump

The places we are born come back. They disguise themselves as migraines, stomach aches, insomnia. They are the way we sometimes wake falling, fumbling for the bed-side lamp, certain everything we’ve built has gone in the night. We become strangers to the places we are born. They would not recognise us but we will always recognise them. They are marrow to us; they are bred into us. If we were turned inside out there would be maps cut into the wrong side of our skin. Just so we could find our way back. Except, cut wrong side into my skin are not canals and train tracks and a boat, but always: you.
 

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