Her Here

352 pages

Trade Paper

List Price US $16.99
ISBN: 9781942658764


ISBN: 9781942658771

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“Spellbinding. . . . Wholly engrossing. . . . This hypnotic and deeply cerebral exploration is a seductive escape. Through Ella and Elena’s efforts to reconstruct a sense of self—outside family, beyond academia and expectation—through language, Dennis confronts the various ways we try to understand ourselves and others.

Washington Post

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“A young woman has disappeared, and her mother asks a dead friend’s daughter to reconstruct the young woman’s life from her diaries, in the hopes of stumbling on clues to where she may be. It’s a premise that would be a stretch for any novelist, but in her experimental debut Amanda Dennis wields that stretch the way a candymaker pulls and thickens ropes of sugar on hooks.”

Literary Hub

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“Dennis’s elegant yet propulsive debut becomes much more than a missing-persons search. . . . Elena’s narrative-within-a-narrative nicely reveals the creative process, while Dennis’s larger story confirms the value of living boldly.”

Library Journal (starred review)

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“Wrenching and revelatory.”

Foreword Reviews (starred review)

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“Dennis’ sensory prose leads to a fascinating exploration of identity, grief, and time.”

Kirkus Reviews

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“Amanda Dennis is in possession of hypnotic narrative gifts and a ferocious intellect. With Her Here, she has claimed her place in the literary world.”

Rebecca Makkai, author of Music for Wartime and The Great Believers

“Evocative and meditative, Her Here is a ghost story without a ghost, a marvel of incantatory wit. Dennis weaves a mesmerizing web around her subject, drawing the reader into an intricate, volatile mystery whose end is always and never within reach.”

Alexandra Kleeman, author of You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine and Intimations

“In Her Here, Dennis has written a metaphysical investigation that is also a wonderfully personal account of a daughter coming to terms with the loss of her mother, and a mother coming to terms with the loss of her daughter. As Elena conjures Ella’s last days, the richly imagined narrative moves back and forth between Paris and Thailand, carrying both characters and readers to a vivid and suspenseful conclusion.”

Margot Livesey, author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy and The Boy in the Field

“Dazzling. Dennis is a writer that awakens the senses. From the first page, this gorgeous, haunting story about two lost girls ensnares the reader with such expertise, such intelligence and heart, that before long you’re lost inside the eerie sensuality of youthful dreams, witnessing obsession unravel identity.”

Dina Nayeri, author of Refuge and The Ungrateful Refugee

Her Here is a stunning debut from author Amanda Dennis. I was brought to the very edge of my sanity right along with the protagonist, Elena. The women in this story are complex and the ways their stories interconnect even more so. There were so many twists and turns I don’t think I accurately predicted even one plot development. It was suspenseful, raw, and every word absolutely crackled with intensity. Fans of Gillian Flynn take notice!”

Audrey Beatty, River Bend Bookshop (Glastonbury, CT)

“Beautiful debut about relationships between mothers and daughters, the intersection and fragmentary natures of memory and identity. Dennis’s writing is impressive—both precise and empathetic.”

Molly Harbage, Politics and Prose Bookstore (Washington, DC)

“I loved [Her Here]. . . . You get caught up in the book very easily.”

Sandy Jones Boyd, Mountain Regional Public Library (Young Harris, GA)

Elena, struggling with memory loss due to a trauma that has unmoored her sense of self, deserts graduate school and a long-term relationship to accept a bizarre proposition from an estranged family friend in Paris: she will search for a young woman, Ella, who went missing six years earlier in Thailand, by rewriting her journals. As she delves deeper into Ella’s story, Elena begins to lose sight of her own identity and drift dangerously toward self-annihilation.

Her Here is an existential detective story with a shocking denouement that plumbs the creative and destructive powers of narrative itself.

Buzz Books by Publishers Lunch selection

Library Journal “Best Debut Novels” selection

Foreword Reviews “Book of the Day” selection

Booklist “Shout ’n’ Share” selection

River Bend Bookshop Staff Pick

Excerpt from Her Here

Watch Amanda Dennis in conversation with Rachel Donadio about Her Here at the American Library in Paris.

Read a lovely exchange of letters between Amanda Dennis and Ayşegül Savaş about reading, writing, and their debut novels at Music & Literature.

Amanda Dennis discusses the inspiration behind Her Here at the Literary Hub and talks about the novel with Shelf Unbound (pp. 68 – 72), the First Pages Prize, American University of Paris, and Gates Cambridge.

Explore rich resources for your book club discussions about Her Here at Reading Group Choices.

Read an excerpt from Her Here in Princeton Alumni Weekly.