THE UNDERSTORY by Pamela Erens

The Understory—Cover.jpg
The Understory—Cover.jpg

THE UNDERSTORY by Pamela Erens


~44,000 WORDS
Tin House

Read reviews on Goodreads & Amazon

Winner of the Ironweed Press Fiction Prize
A Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist
Finalist, William Saroyan International Prize for Writing

The Understory—the debut novel from the critically acclaimed author of The Virgins —is the haunting portrayal of Jack Gorse, an ex-lawyer, now unemployed, who walls off his inner life with elaborate rituals and routines. Every day he takes the same walk from his Upper West Side apartment to the Brooklyn Bridge. He follows the same path through Central Park; he stops to browse in the same bookstore, to eat lunch in the same diner. Threatened with eviction from his longtime apartment and caught off-guard by an attraction to a near stranger, Gorse takes steps that lead to the dramatic dissolution of the only existence he’s known. As the narrative alternates between his days in New York City and his present life in a Vermont Buddhist Monastery, The Understory unfolds as both a mystery and a psychological study, revealing that repression and self-expression can be equally destructive.

"An elegant, understated study of physical and psychic dislocations...artfully detailed and beautifully rendered." — Chicago Tribune

"A mesmerizing tale...a universal human cry for love." — ForeWord Magazine

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