The Answers

Catherine Lacey

Published: 8 June 2017
Trade Paperback, Demy PB
135x216mm, 304 pages
ISBN: 9781783782178



Mary is out of options. Estranged from her Evangelist family, plagued by debt collectors and beset by chronic pain, Mary signs up for a mysterious job advertised as 'The Girlfriend Experiment' (or, The GX). Masterminded by a successful Hollywood actor with a string of failed relationships behind him, The GX seeks to pin down and capture the essence of love before it fades, and to answer the question of why two people, drawn together by forces beyond their control, can wake up one day as strangers to one another.

Mary is hired to play the part of the Emotional Girlfriend, alongside a Maternal Girlfriend, a Mundane Girlfriend, an Angry Girlfriend and, of course, an Intimacy Team. Each woman has her debts and her difficulties, her past loves and her secrets. As Mary and the actor are drawn ever closer together, the nature of the experiment changes, and the Girlfriends find themselves exposed to new perils, foremost among them, love.

From a writer whose debut was hailed as one of the literary events of 2014 comes a novel of die-hard faith and fleeting love; of questions which probe the depths of our society, and answers that will leave you reeling.

About the author

Image of Catherine Lacey

Catherine Lacey is the recipient of a 2012 NYFA Artist's Fellowship in Fiction Writing. She has published interviews, stories and non-fiction in various journals and magazines including McSweeney's, The Believer, the Atlantic, 52 Stories and Brooklyn Magazine. She lives in New York. More about the author


‘[A] multi-pronged satire which takes shots at misogyny, the "gig economy" and our obsession with data’



‘[A] slyly subversive and funny take on the modern dating game’

A dystopian romance keyed to the metric-obsessed information age... Relentlessly thought-provoking, this is a sophisticated performance... The Answers is a novel that niggles and gnaws - and that is a good thingAnthony Cummins

A sly, surreal take on love and relationships... Lacey has a poet's eye, and pays minute attention to every sentence, every word... Intelligent, articulate and sure of her gifts, Lacey is in possession of that rare skill - she knows exactly what to leave out’

An exciting and clever follow-up to her acclaimed debut... an unsettling, but whip-smart meditation on love

Asks intelligent and disquieting questions about love in the Tinder era

Lacey's the real thing, and in The Answers she takes full command of her powers... This is a novel of intellect and amplitude that deepens as it moves forward, until you feel prickling awe at how much mental territory unfolds... it's a novel that floods with tangled human feeling

Sharp and funny... beautifully sadLuke Brown

Strange, intelligent... Lacey explores seismic questions about our relationships to our bodies and our selves in cool, surgically beautiful language... there's no other novel like it out there

This summer's Must-Read novel... a darkly funny, tartly feminist look at the tender state of our bodies and souls

‘A clever, gripping read... The Answers is a dystopian take on dating that everyone will be reading this year

‘Catherine Lacey is one of the most intelligent and brittle and funny writers of her generation. In The Answers she builds -- out of the raw stuff of bewilderment and absence -- a soaring, heartbreaking work that's just on the right side of being nearly too beautiful to bear’ Lauren Groff

‘Modern, strange, moving... A sharp premise which will make you shiver about the future’ Jeanne Sutton

‘Not your typical romance, The Answers verges on the dystopian’

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