It Lasts Forever and Then It's Over (Paperback)

It Lasts Forever and Then It's Over By Anne de Marcken Cover Image
On Our Shelves Now
On hand as of Jul 15 2:15pm


Co-winner of the 2022 Novel Prize, this incredible life-after-death novel asks us to consider how much of our memory, of our bodies, of the world as we know it — how much of what we love can we lose before we are lost? And then what happens? 

This third perspective on myself is disconcerting. 

The heroine of the spare and haunting It Lasts Forever and Then It’s Over is voraciously alive in the afterlife. Adrift yet keenly aware, she notes every bizarre detail of her new reality. And even if she has forgotten her name and much of what connects her to her humanity, she remembers with an implacable and nearly unbearable longing the place where she knew herself and was known—where she loved and was loved. Traveling across the landscapes of time and of space, heading always west, and carrying a dead but laconically opinionated crow in her chest, our undead narrator encounters and loses parts of her body and her self in one terrifying, hilarious, and heartbreaking situation after another. 

A bracing writer of great nerve and verve, Anne de Marcken bends reality (and the reader’s mind) with throwaway assurance. It Lasts Forever and Then It’s Over plumbs mortality and how it changes everything, except possibly love. Delivering a near-Beckettian whopping to the reader’s imagination, this is one of the sharpest and funniest novels of recent years, a tale for our dispossessed times.

About the Author

Anne de Marcken is a queer interdisciplinary artist and writer living on unceded land of the Coast Salish people in Olympia, WA, in the United States. She is the founding editor and publisher of the 3rd Thing.

Praise For…

The third-person perspective on myself is disconcerting.
— It Lasts Forever and Then It’s Over

Anne de Marcken must write in a charmed ink that first erases the line between the living and the dead, and then — with prose as elegant as it is spooked — tells the story of what lies underneath. I have never read anything like this brilliant debut.
— Sabrina Orah Mark

Astounding, inventive, and utterly original, Anne de Marcken has written a freakish classic with wisdom to spare about life, death, and the eerily vast space between. I was absolute putty in this book’s hands.
— Alexandra Kleeman

It Lasts Forever is sad, shocking, funny, prophetic, visceral, and deeply human. From amid the dislocations, the lacerations, a profound meditation arises. Highly recommended.

— Jeff VanderMeer

De Marcken never loses sight of the grand themes of life, death, and decay, as the narrator riffs cleverly on the nature of her condition (‘Zombies used to be drug addicts, television watchers, videogame players. Now zombies are zombies. Consumers are consumers’). It amounts to a sharp and weighty depiction of what does and doesn’t make someone human.
— Publishers Weekly

Anne de Marcken's It Lasts Forever and Then It's Over is a superb and feral work, moving without hesitation through grief, through dust, and therefore through time. The sighing soil, oh. It is a soft rumination, a devastating ode to lateness, solitude, yearning. To the fleeting body. It is a quiet thing filled with contradictions—about movement and then stillness, or about rows upon rows of objects, planted or felled; about repetition. Are we not all planted or felled? I located myself on this crossing. I will return to it more, more. A gem.

— Giada Scodellaro

????? Soul-stirringly expansive, darkly comic and metaphysical… Our culture is obsessed with completion and conclusions, despite being in a world that never concludes or completes. By resisting endings, de Marcken’s deeply imaginative novel reflects that world — our collective story.
— Kate Simpson - The Telegraph

It’s hard to imagine a more erudite zombie story. This is de Marcken’s central trope—and her triumph. She seizes the gut-smeared cliches of The Walking Dead and recomposes them as a philosophical odyssey. Better yet, despite her fiction’s core seriousness, its quest for the Real, her undead stumble through a Grand Guignol farce. A terrific debut.

— John Domini - The Brooklyn Rail

The prose is exquisite and the form is inventive, and there is plenty of white space between fragments of text and a handful of doodles. It’s wry and moving and very beautiful.
— Susie Mesure - The Spectator

Product Details
ISBN: 9780811237857
ISBN-10: 0811237850
Publisher: New Directions
Publication Date: March 5th, 2024
Pages: 160
Language: English