'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.
"Daisy Johnson is a new goddamn swaggering monster of fiction" * Lauren Groff *
"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
"As readable as it is dazzling, full of unsettling twists and dark revelations" -- Alex Preston * Observer *
"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 *
"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 *
"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 *
"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 *
"A triumph: a novel that feels inexorable, messy and profound all at once." -- Anna Leszkiewicz * New Statesman *
"[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 *
"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 *
Number Of Pages: 272
Published: 15th July 2018
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.3 x 14.6
Weight (kg): 0.4
Edition Number: 1