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Publisher Description

Shortlisted for the 2014 Man Booker Prize
Winner of the 2014 PEN/Faulkner Award

One of the New York Times Book Review’s 100 Notable Books of 2013
Named by The Christian Science Monitor as one of the top 15 works of fiction

The New York Times bestselling author of The Jane Austen Book Club introduces a middle-class American family, ordinary in every way but one...
Meet the Cooke family: Mother and Dad, brother Lowell, sister Fern, and Rosemary, who begins her story in the middle. She has her reasons. “I was raised with a chimpanzee,” she explains. “I tell you Fern was a chimp and already you aren’t thinking of her as my sister. But until Fern’s expulsion...she was my twin, my funhouse mirror, my whirlwind other half and I loved her as a sister.” As a child, Rosemary never stopped talking. Then, something happened, and Rosemary wrapped herself in silence.

In We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Karen Joy Fowler weaves her most accomplished work to date—a tale of loving but fallible people whose well-intentioned actions lead to heartbreaking consequences.

“A gripping, big-hearted book...through the tender voice of her protagonist, Fowler has a lot to say about family, memory, language, science, and indeed the question of what constitutes a human being.”—Khaled Hosseini 

Fiction & Literature
May 30
Penguin Publishing Group

Customer Reviews

Scast90 ,

Great read

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Please do everything you can to avoid reading the back and any spoilers, it truly makes it so much more enjoyable!

dpied ,

nearly flawless

Do not look up the premise of this book before you read it. You want to be surprised. The language is captivating, heartbreaking and hilarious. and the way the story contracts and expands as the author tells it came at me like nothing I’ve ever read. At first the protagonist might seem shallow but she’s an undergrad in the 90s. We all seemed shallow. The story of her life and the lives around her is ocean deep and the relationships she has with the inhabitants of the story as well as herself go deep, then surface as if for breath and barrel down again. So powerful. Hint: look up words, ideas and phrases you don’t know because they often come back like very meaningful lost children.

kimberlyanneof ,


I read a lot. I’ve been moved by many books. This was more than a book- it was a beautiful experience. Every word sings to you. The characters are realistic and poignant and the way they are written implants themselves into you, you quickly become invested in them. I had sadness that the story had to end at all. Read it. Read it, read it.

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