It Lasts Forever and Then It's Over (Paperback)
Co-winner of the 2022 Novel Prize, this incredible life-after-death novel asks us to consider how much of our memory, of our bodies, of the world as we know it — how much of what we love can we lose before we are lost? And then what happens?
This third perspective on myself is disconcerting.
The heroine of the spare and haunting It Lasts Forever and Then It’s Over is voraciously alive in the afterlife. Adrift yet keenly aware, she notes every bizarre detail of her new reality. And even if she has forgotten her name and much of what connects her to her humanity, she remembers with an implacable and nearly unbearable longing the place where she knew herself and was known—where she loved and was loved. Traveling across the landscapes of time and of space, heading always west, and carrying a dead but laconically opinionated crow in her chest, our undead narrator encounters and loses parts of her body and her self in one terrifying, hilarious, and heartbreaking situation after another.
A bracing writer of great nerve and verve, Anne de Marcken bends reality (and the reader’s mind) with throwaway assurance. It Lasts Forever and Then It’s Over plumbs mortality and how it changes everything, except possibly love. Delivering a near-Beckettian whopping to the reader’s imagination, this is one of the sharpest and funniest novels of recent years, a tale for our dispossessed times.
About the Author
Anne de Marcken is a queer interdisciplinary artist and writer living on unceded land of the Coast Salish people in Olympia, WA, in the United States. She is the founding editor and publisher of the 3rd Thing.
The third-person perspective on myself is disconcerting.
— It Lasts Forever and Then It’s Over
Anne de Marcken must write in a charmed ink that first erases the line between the living and the dead, and then — with prose as elegant as it is spooked — tells the story of what lies underneath. I have never read anything like this brilliant debut.
— Sabrina Orah Mark
Astounding, inventive, and utterly original, Anne de Marcken has written a freakish classic with wisdom to spare about life, death, and the eerily vast space between. I was absolute putty in this book’s hands.
— Alexandra Kleeman
It Lasts Forever is sad, shocking, funny, prophetic, visceral, and deeply human. From amid the dislocations, the lacerations, a profound meditation arises. Highly recommended.
— Jeff VanderMeer
De Marcken never loses sight of the grand themes of life, death, and decay, as the narrator riffs cleverly on the nature of her condition (‘Zombies used to be drug addicts, television watchers, videogame players. Now zombies are zombies. Consumers are consumers’). It amounts to a sharp and weighty depiction of what does and doesn’t make someone human.
— Publishers Weekly
Anne de Marcken's It Lasts Forever and Then It's Over is a superb and feral work, moving without hesitation through grief, through dust, and therefore through time. The sighing soil, oh. It is a soft rumination, a devastating ode to lateness, solitude, yearning. To the fleeting body. It is a quiet thing filled with contradictions—about movement and then stillness, or about rows upon rows of objects, planted or felled; about repetition. Are we not all planted or felled? I located myself on this crossing. I will return to it more, more. A gem.
— Giada Scodellaro
????? Soul-stirringly expansive, darkly comic and metaphysical… Our culture is obsessed with completion and conclusions, despite being in a world that never concludes or completes. By resisting endings, de Marcken’s deeply imaginative novel reflects that world — our collective story.
— Kate Simpson - The Telegraph