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Catherine Lacey Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Certain American States: Stories (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Art of the Affair: An Illustrated History of Love, Sex, and Artistic Influence (With: Forsyth Harmon) (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon

Catherine Lacey is an American author from the South who made waves with her first novel about a sad woman that leaves her marriage to go find a man she met once at a party.


Catherine Lacey was born in 1985 in Mississippi. The author believes that she was writing from the moment she learnt how to put pen to paper. And she knows this to be true because she has visited her father’s house and found some of the stories she wrote as a child.

As a child of Mississippi, Catherine grew up in a very intense and radical environment, where opinions on social issues always went to the extreme. Despite her upbringing, the author has since found that society has gone a little too far in its efforts to instill politeness in people, so much so that people are unable to say what they actually think or feel.

Catherine has suggested that this stifling of communication is the reason her writings are considered rude by some readers. She says what she thinks and feels, and she believes that by being a little rude, she is forcing certain conversations into the limelight.

Catherine Lacey grew up in a Methodist child. As a child, she was very religious, though she admits that the bible scared her in some places. However, when she finally marched into her teens, the worldview she was beginning to develop clashed with the lessons she was learning in Church and it wasn’t long before she abandoned her faith.

While Catherine doesn’t consider herself to be a Christian, the author feels very strongly about passive Christians. She doesn’t have kind words for people who do not actively participate in their religion.

This mindset and Catherine Lacey’s general worldview manifest vividly in her writings.

Interestingly enough, the author did not start out intending to write novels. Catherine had her eyes set on essays and profiles. She also presumed that she would get a kick out of doing travel journalism.

Fiction was little more than an indulgence and she was just as surprised when she spat out a novel. She didn’t even tell anyone that she was writing it. It took her two years to write it, and she had to reach back into the past for ideas.

The author was reminded of the time she went to New Zealand. With graduate school behind her and the winter fast approaching, Catherine decided to run off to New Zealand. Because she disliked driving, she chose to trek and hitchhike through the farms. She did a lot of reading and even interacted with the local folks, this along with writing a short story that would eventually become the foundation for her first novel.

It has become the norm for fans and critics alike to confuse Elyria, the protagonist of her first story, with Catherine Lacey herself. Like Catherine, Elyria seemingly abandons her life to go hitchhiking in New Zealand.

Catherine was a little confused when she went to New Zealand. She didn’t really know what to do with herself or what the future held. Elyria also spends her time in New Zealand trying to make sense of her life.

Catherine has never been shy about admitting that she put a lot of herself in Elyria, though she always added that there were aspects which where unique to the character. Catherine has had dark thoughts like Elyria, and her outlook on life can sometimes be just as sad.

Catherine’s stories have been praised for being dark and haunting but also humorous and introspective. The author has a way of creating conflict in her readers. Even when her characters are spiraling down a well of darkness, one cannot help but laugh at some of the lines and comments Catherine peppers throughout her stories.

This speaks to Catherine’s own mindset. While she can be cynical, the author does try to look at the brighter aspects of life. Though, it is interesting that Catherine is so enamored by failures.

She has always gravitated to characters and authors who could never quite get their lives together. She is especially interested in authors that have long since died. She loves to dig into their works so thoroughly that she feels she is connecting with them on a spiritual level.

The author has admitted that fame made her life as a writer a little more difficult. In fact, the reason her second book took so long to come out was that she became a little too consumed by the success of her first book, and the fact that she had exposed her secret work to the world for review.

Catherine Lacey initially struggled with the sensation that her fans were looking over her shoulder and critiquing every word she wrote. She had to work really hard to banish those thoughts and to forget about her publishing goals as a whole.

Catherine believes that success only comes when an author learns to write for the sake of writing; where they are driven only by their art rather than some desire to see their efforts recognized by the words.

Though, Catherine has definitely been recognized, having been a finalist for the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award, not to mention the Whiting Award.

+Nobody is Ever Missing

Elyria seemed happy enough. Then she suddenly flew to New Zealand without telling her family. Her stable husband was confused, unable to make sense of her actions. However, for Elyria, only adventure waited ahead.

As she hikes into the unknown, she meets strangers and comes across surreal encounters as she tries to overcome her many demons, this including the death of her sister and a secret rage she harbors.

There is a disconnection between Elyria’s inner and outer personas, and she simply wants to disappear from the world, to forget her troubles and to keep running.

This Catherine Lacey novel is a very raw exploration of the human condition.

+The Answers

When Mary is afflicted by pain, her only hope for relief is a new age treatment. But it is morbidly expensive and Mary has no money. In her desperation, Mary runs to craigslist in search of money-making opportunities.

Mary decides to sign up for an experiment by an eccentric actor looking to find the perfect relationship. Mary comes aboard to play the role of his emotional girlfriend. Mary is eventually drawn into Kurt Sky’s messy attempt at making a human connection.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Catherine Lacey

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