Shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, and selected as an Oprah's Book Club Summer Reading Pick, an Amazon.ca Best Book, and an iTunes Store Best Book
When Grace, a highly competent and devoted therapist in Montreal, stumbles across a man in the snowy woods who has failed to hang himself, her instinct to help immediately kicks in. Before long, however, she realizes that her feelings for this charismatic, extremely guarded stranger are far from straightforward.
At the same time, her troubled teenage patient, Annie, runs away and soon will reinvent herself in New York as an aspiring and ruthless actress, as unencumbered as humanly possible by any personal attachments. And Mitch, Grace's ex-husband, a therapist as well, leaves the woman he's desperately in love with to attend to a struggling native community in the bleak Arctic. We follow these four compelling, complex characters from Montreal and New York to Hollywood and Rwanda, each of them with a consciousness that is utterly distinct and urgently convincing. With a razor-sharp emotional intelligence, Inside poignantly explores the manifold dangers and imperatives of making ourselves available to, and indeed responsible for, those dearest to us.
ALIX OHLIN is the author of four books, most recently the novel Inside, which was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Tin House, Best American Short Stories, and many other publications. Born and raised in Montreal, she lives in Vancouver, where she chairs the creative writing program at the University of British Columbia.
... [a] twisty, clever and captivating read ... this cunning writer yanks you inside her world.
... [an] extremely readable blend of poignancy and sardonic humour ...
... a superb second novel ... next to brilliant phrases and scenes of laugh-eliciting satiric jabs, there are brutal, heartbreaking circumstances.
Ohlin writes in elegant prose that is flush with wit and style, as clever and as smooth as Lorrie Moore.
Ohlin displays a profound empathy for people at their least rational -- and most human.
.. the next big thing in North American literature.
... vividly pictorial ... Ohlin has as unsettling an old soul as Leonard Cohen’s.
Alix Ohlin’s writing is brilliant. Readers will enjoy ‘Inside’ and will finish anticipating Ohlin’s future works; wanting to see how far she can go.
... [Alix] Ohlin makes us care ...
... a serious literary talent.
Can any of us really save another person? Or is each of us solely responsible for his or her own life? That's the question lurking behind Alix Ohlin's astute novel.
Ohlin knows what she’s doing, and it dawns that what’s true of all good fiction applies even more emphatically here: Inside, though fully satisfying the first time through, all but demands a second reading. It’s something most readers will be more than happy to do.
... wondrously engrossing ...