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You Feel It Just Below the Ribs
Cover of You Feel It Just Below the Ribs
You Feel It Just Below the Ribs
A Novel
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A haunting, provocative novel, You Feel It Just Below the Ribs is a fictional autobiography in an alternate twentieth century that chronicles one woman's unusual life, including the price she pays to...
A haunting, provocative novel, You Feel It Just Below the Ribs is a fictional autobiography in an alternate twentieth century that chronicles one woman's unusual life, including the price she pays to...
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  • A haunting, provocative novel, You Feel It Just Below the Ribs is a fictional autobiography in an alternate twentieth century that chronicles one woman's unusual life, including the price she pays to survive and the cost her choices hold for the society she is trying to save.

    Born at the end of the old world, Miriam grows up during The Great Reckoning, a sprawling, decades-long war that nearly decimates humanity and strips her of friends and family. Devastated by grief and loneliness, she emotionally exiles herself, avoiding relationships or allegiances, and throws herself into her work—disengagement that serves her when the war finally ends, and The New Society arises.

    To ensure a lasting peace, The New Society forbids anything that may cause tribal loyalties, including traditional families. Suddenly, everyone must live as Miriam has chosen to—disconnected and unattached. A researcher at heart, Miriam becomes involved in implementing this detachment process. She does not know it is the beginning of a darkly sinister program that will transform this new world and the lives of everyone in it. Eventually, the harmful effects of her research become too much for Miriam, and she devises a secret plan to destroy the system from within, endangering her own life.

    But is her "confession" honest—or is it a fabrication riddled with lies meant to conceal the truth?

    A jarring and uncanny tale of loss, trauma, and the power of human connection and deception, You Feel It Just Below the Ribs is a portrait of a disturbing alternate world eerily within reach, and an examination of the difficult choices we must make to survive in it.

About the Author-

  • Jeffrey Cranor cowrites the Welcome to Night Vale and Within the Wires podcasts. He also cocreates theater and dance pieces with choreographer/wife Jillian Sweeney. They live in New York.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 30, 2021
    Cranor (cocreator of the podcast Welcome to Night Vale) and Matthewson (Of Things Gone Astray) present a sprawling tale of survival, detachment, and sacrifice set in the alternate 20th-century world of their Within the Wires podcast. Presented as the autobiography of Dr. Miriam Gregory, the story describes how Miriam weathered the Great Reckoning, a decades-long war that touched her childhood with trauma and tragedy. A meditative process helps her to detach from her painful experiences, and her later work as a psychologist allows her to adapt the practice on behalf of the New Society, which springs up in the war’s wake. The New Society adopts Miriam’s technique to prevent tribalism, nationalism, and future war—but it requires the total isolation of individuals, even from nuclear family, and the results of its implementation are devastating. Though Miriam’s internal monologue sometimes meanders, the authors succeed in crafting a fascinatingly complex narrator, and the footnotes commenting on her work—and calling it into question—are equally layered. Throughout, the novel raises the question of what humanity should sacrifice to avoid future conflict, and whether those sacrifices are worth it. Readers who enjoy dystopian tales and unreliable narrators will find much to dissect in this haunting, heart-wrenching novel.

  • AudioFile Magazine In this audiobook, the authors, cowriters of the "Within the Wires" podcast, have fashioned an expansive alternative-twentieth-century global history. The premise: The autobiographical manuscript of Dr. Miriam Gregory, a psychologist and spiritualist who specializes in rehabilitation from childhood trauma, has been found in an attic. Kirsten Potter's richly expressive narration gives voice to Miriam's complicated personal history. When her family died, Miriam was left on her own in a world ravaged by war, famine, and disease. After years of scavenging for food and shelter, along with a prison term, she ended up on a farm collective operated by academics who later helped establish a new global social order. Narrator Adepero Oduye seamlessly inserts explanatory notes throughout the story, which help listeners evaluate the reliability of Miriam's recollections. M.J. � AudioFile 2022, Portland, Maine

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You Feel It Just Below the Ribs
You Feel It Just Below the Ribs
A Novel
Jeffrey Cranor
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