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Debut novel from 2017 JJ Fellow

Congratulations to Erin Kate Ryan, the 2017 winner of the James Jones First Novel Fellowship, on the publication of her debut novel, Quantum Girl Theory (Random House 2022). The novel has been named by CrimeReads as “One of the Most Anticipated Books of 2022.”

The novel pivots on Mary Garrett, who has a gift for finding missing girls. It is a special kind of clairvoyance she calls “the sight.” Lured by a poster and the promise of a reward, she arrives at a small town in the Jim Crow South to discover that not one but three girls have vanished–two of whom are Black, and whose disappearances have gone uninvestigated outside their own community. She sets out to find them.

As it turns out, Mary is herself a “missing girl.” In another life, she was a Bennington College sophomore named Paula Jean Welden who disappeared one night in 1946.

Both a captivating mystery and a powerful thought experiment, Quantum Girl Theory spins out a new way of seeing those who seem to disappear before our eyes.

Erin Kate Ryan’s fiction has been published in VQR, Glimmer Train, The Normal School and elsewhere. She holds an MFA in fiction from Bennington Writing Seminars, where she was an Alumni Fellow. She lives in the Hudson Valley with her partner and found family.

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