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I Must Have You: A Novel
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About the Author

JoAnna Novak writes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Her work has appeared in BOMB, Guernica, Conjunctions, the Los Angeles Review, the Rumpus, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Joyland, Day One, the New Orleans Review, and more. She is a founding editor of Tammy, a journal of poetry and prose. She lives in Los Angeles.

Reviews

"The novel explores the intersections and divergences of desire and control with a 1990s-laden prose so compelling that you'd think Novak was the highly literary child of Amy Heckerling." --Los Angeles Review of Books

"I Must Have You is a book about girls-their secret languages and private codes, their painful preoccupations and complex compulsions, and their scary tendency, when caught in the gazes of society, men, (and worst, each other), to diminish themselves-sometimes to the point of disappearing completely. With risky, confident prose and brazen psychological renderings-not to mention a knack for getting the 90's just right-Novak takes us on a seductive, uncharted journey through modern womanhood, obsession and illness. I can honestly say I have never read anything like this book." -Molly Pretiss, author of Tuesday Nights in 1980
"Poet Novak's vibrating, image-laden, chiaroscuro prose is chockablock with bolstering references to her novel's setting; characters chat on AOL, quote Clueless and Wayne's World, know all the Chicagoland trivia, and sing along to an endless stream of the era's most iconic music. Sensationally exploring the devastating particulars of young (and not so young) womanhood, this promising debut will slip right in to the new adult genre."-Booklist

"I Must Have You is a devastating novel about loving and trying to destroy one's own body."-Ramona Ausubel, author of Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty

"I Must Have You showcases JoAnna Novak's raw, real, and vivid voice in the character of Elliott, a sharp-tongued, sharp-witted, and complex young heroine unlike any we've met. Novak's intelligent, funny, frightening, and deeply felt novel bravely goes where this genre has not gone before: into the darker reaches of a culture that casts a long shadow across the lives of girls and women today. Novak explores the extent of our longing, and ultimately the source of our strength." Marya Hornbacher, New York Times Bestselling Author of Madness, Wasted, and others.

"JoAnna Novak's voice is unforgettable and her irreverent, addictive debut is sure to position her as one of the great stylists of her generation. I Must Have You is a brilliant and candid look at what it means to be a girl in this world; it's a meditation on hunger, on wanting, on the things and people that consume us, and on the things and people that we long to consume. A truly exciting, beautiful novel." Diana Spechler, author of Who By Fire and Skinny

"I Must Have You presents a harrowing and immersive story of compulsion and disorder, addiction and obsession, with frequent detours through the teenage cultural wasteland of the late nineties, all rendered in JoAnna Novak's crazed, slang-stilted, glinting prose." Teddy Wayne, author of Loner

"JoAnna Novak's I Must Have You is a rhapsodic, tumbling, yet rigorously controlled excavation of the secret worlds within us all. Her characters hurtle toward the painful pleasure of self-destruction, uninterested in stopping themselves, determined to find the next prick to make them feel alive. It's a visceral process, like picking off a scab. This is a necessary book." Sarah Gerard, author of Binary Star

"I Must Have You is a tragic, funny, and moving coming-of-age story. It was impossible not to be swept up in JoAnna Novak's gorgeous, inventive prose, or to stop yourself from falling in love with her irreverent, wild, and ultimately human characters. I loved every word." Anton DiSclafani, New York Times Bestselling author of THE YONAHLOSSEE RIDING CAMP FOR GIRLS and THE AFTER PARTY

"Novak looks unflinchingly at the precarious attachments between female peers, mother and daughters, during some dangerous, inchoate transitions. With exacting prose she explores the the shadow terrain of female attachment, one that is uncertain at best, dangerous at worst. This is a book you'll want to look away from for its familiarity and its honesty, but you won't be able to. This story is nothing if not a disorienting mediation on the tangle of self-loathing, loneliness, and a desire for oblivion that so many women privately hold." Rebecca Rotert, author of Last Night at the Blue Angel
"The novel explores the intersections and divergences of desire and control with a 1990s-laden prose so compelling that you'd think Novak was the highly literary child of Amy Heckerling." --Los Angeles Review of Books

"I Must Have You is a book about girls-their secret languages and private codes, their painful preoccupations and complex compulsions, and their scary tendency, when caught in the gazes of society, men, (and worst, each other), to diminish themselves-sometimes to the point of disappearing completely. With risky, confident prose and brazen psychological renderings-not to mention a knack for getting the 90's just right-Novak takes us on a seductive, uncharted journey through modern womanhood, obsession and illness. I can honestly say I have never read anything like this book." -Molly Pretiss, author of Tuesday Nights in 1980
"Poet Novak's vibrating, image-laden, chiaroscuro prose is chockablock with bolstering references to her novel's setting; characters chat on AOL, quote Clueless and Wayne's World, know all the Chicagoland trivia, and sing along to an endless stream of the era's most iconic music. Sensationally exploring the devastating particulars of young (and not so young) womanhood, this promising debut will slip right in to the new adult genre."-Booklist

"I Must Have You is a devastating novel about loving and trying to destroy one's own body."-Ramona Ausubel, author of Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty

"I Must Have You showcases JoAnna Novak's raw, real, and vivid voice in the character of Elliott, a sharp-tongued, sharp-witted, and complex young heroine unlike any we've met. Novak's intelligent, funny, frightening, and deeply felt novel bravely goes where this genre has not gone before: into the darker reaches of a culture that casts a long shadow across the lives of girls and women today. Novak explores the extent of our longing, and ultimately the source of our strength." Marya Hornbacher, New York Times Bestselling Author of Madness, Wasted, and others.

"JoAnna Novak's voice is unforgettable and her irreverent, addictive debut is sure to position her as one of the great stylists of her generation. I Must Have You is a brilliant and candid look at what it means to be a girl in this world; it's a meditation on hunger, on wanting, on the things and people that consume us, and on the things and people that we long to consume. A truly exciting, beautiful novel." Diana Spechler, author of Who By Fire and Skinny

"I Must Have You presents a harrowing and immersive story of compulsion and disorder, addiction and obsession, with frequent detours through the teenage cultural wasteland of the late nineties, all rendered in JoAnna Novak's crazed, slang-stilted, glinting prose." Teddy Wayne, author of Loner

"JoAnna Novak's I Must Have You is a rhapsodic, tumbling, yet rigorously controlled excavation of the secret worlds within us all. Her characters hurtle toward the painful pleasure of self-destruction, uninterested in stopping themselves, determined to find the next prick to make them feel alive. It's a visceral process, like picking off a scab. This is a necessary book." Sarah Gerard, author of Binary Star

"I Must Have You is a tragic, funny, and moving coming-of-age story. It was impossible not to be swept up in JoAnna Novak's gorgeous, inventive prose, or to stop yourself from falling in love with her irreverent, wild, and ultimately human characters. I loved every word." Anton DiSclafani, New York Times Bestselling author of THE YONAHLOSSEE RIDING CAMP FOR GIRLS and THE AFTER PARTY

"Novak looks unflinchingly at the precarious attachments between female peers, mother and daughters, during some dangerous, inchoate transitions. With exacting prose she explores the the shadow terrain of female attachment, one that is uncertain at best, dangerous at worst. This is a book you'll want to look away from for its familiarity and its honesty, but you won't be able to. This story is nothing if not a disorienting mediation on the tangle of self-loathing, loneliness, and a desire for oblivion that so many women privately hold." Rebecca Rotert, author of Last Night at the Blue Angel

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