The Red Car

Marcy Dermansky

Liveright/W.W. Norton, October 11, 2016

“I've been waiting and waiting for a new book from Marcy Dermansky and finally that new book is here. The Red Car is taut and smart and strange and sweet and perfect. I want to eat this book or sew it to my skin or something.” –Roxane Gay, author of The Untamed State and Bad Feminist  

“There are few writers who can do what Marcy Dermansky does so effortlessly in The Red Car, the way she pushes this story in such surprising and thrilling directions, never losing control, taking your breath away line by beautiful line. Dermansky writes with such unnerving clarity about grief, not just for the loss of a loved one, but for our own unexpected lives. A strange, unflinching, utterly amazing novel.” –Kevin Wilson, author of The Family Fang

“Marcy Dermansky’s The Red Car is a wonder. Moving, mysterious and filled with dark, sly humor, it rustles under your skin and stays there. By the time I reached its shimmering final pages, I wanted to go right back to the beginning and start again.” –Megan Abbott, author of You Will Know Me

“A new book by the inimitable Marcy Dermansky is worth cheering for. The Red Car is droll, unflinching, and mysterious, a feat of efficient storytelling. I could not put it down. This novel mesmerized me.” —Edan Lepucki, author of California

“Don’t be fooled by The Red Car’s brevity: it packs a serious punch. Dermansky’s vision is sharp and clear, pushing her beautifully realized protagonist, Leah, into the rapids on a journey of self-discovery. And we’re right there at her side, breathless, as she shakes herself awake. A tremendously moving story that feels true and important.” —Cari Luna, author of The Revolution of Every Day

“I’ve long admired the work of Marcy Dermansky, and her latest is an absolute stunner. The Red Car is the very rare kind of novel that—with its urgency and intrigue and deep intelligence—will pin you to your chair and transport you utterly.  Stop what you’re doing and read this book.” –Laura van den Berg, author of Find Me

“In vivid, dreamlike prose, Dermansky (Bad Marie, 2010, etc.) shows us how easy it is to feel like a ghost in your own life—and how difficult it can be to fight your way back to your body. It's no accident that Dermansky's nods to literature and pop culture serve as delightful signposts of surrealism—there are strains of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Haruki Murakami novels, HBO's Six Feet Under and psychedelic drug use. . . . Dermansky delivers a captivating novel about the pursuit of joy that combines dreamlike logic with dark humor, wry observation, and gritty feminism.”  —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Sleek and polished . . .  Dermansky's short, punchy chapters keep the tightly written novel moving smoothly along, and flashbacks to her past add depth without slowing momentum." —Publishers Weekly



About the Book

A wildly imaginative, rebellious, and tender tale of independence from the critically acclaimed author of Bad Marie.

With each new novel, Marcy Dermansky deploys her "brainy, emotionally sophisticated" (New York Times) prose to greater and greater heights, and The Red Car is no exception.

Leah is living in Queens with a possessive husband she doesn’t love and a long list of unfulfilled ambitions, when she’s jolted from a thick ennui by a call from the past. Her beloved former boss and friend, Judy, has died in a car accident and left Leah her most prized possession and, as it turns out, the instrument of Judy’s death: a red sports car.

Judy was the mentor Leah never expected. She encouraged Leah’s dreams, analyzed her love life, and eased her into adulthood over long lunches away from the office. Facing the jarring disconnect between the life she expected and the one she is now actually living, Leah takes off for San Francisco to claim Judy’s car. In sprawling days defined by sex, sorrow, and unexpected delight, Leah revisits past lives and loves in search of a self she abandoned long ago. Piercing through Leah’s surreal haze is the enigmatic voice of Judy, as sharp as ever, providing wry commentary on Leah’s every move.

Following her "irresistible" (Time) and "wicked" (Slate) novel Bad Marie, Dermansky evokes yet another edgy, capricious, and beautifully haunting heroine―one whose search for realization is as wonderfully unpredictable and hypnotic as the twists and turns of the Pacific Coast Highway. Tautly wound, transgressive, and mordantly funny, The Red Car is an incisive exploration of one woman’s unusual route to self-discovery.


About the Author

Marcy Dermansky is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Bad Marie and Twins, and the upcoming The Red Car.

Bad Marie was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writer's Pick, a finalist in the Morning News Tournament of Books, and named one of the best novels of the year in Esquire. Her first novel Twins was a New York Times Editor's Choice Pick. Powell's Bookstore named Marcy a Writer to Watch Out For.

Marcy's short fiction has been widely published and anthologized, appearing in McSweeney's, Five Chapters, The Indiana Review, and elsewhere. Her essay "Maybe I Loved You" appeared in the best-selling anthology Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York.

Marcy has received fellowships from The MacDowell Colony and The Edward Albee Foundation. She is the winner of the Smallmouth Press Andre Dubus Novella Award and Story Magazine Carson McCuller short story prize. Marcy received her Bachelor of Arts at Haverford College and her Master of Arts at the Center for Writers at the University of Southern, Mississippi. She lives in New Jersey with her daughter Nina.


Other Books

Bad Marie