Thomas Pierce has created a story which unfolds in this life and the next. Endlessly inventive and involving, THE AFTERLIVES is for the readers who love the writing of George Saunders.
'Ridiculously good' (New York Times) author Thomas Pierce's debut novel is a brilliantly dazzling and poignant love story that answers the question: What happens after we die? (Lots of stuff, it turns out.)
Will we meet again? I believe we will, but as for proof I can only offer my story, nothing more.
Jim Byrd died. Technically. For a few minutes. The diagnosis: heart attack at age thirty. Revived with no memory of any tunnels, lights or angels, Jim wonders what - if anything - awaits us on the other side.
Then a ghost shows up. Maybe. Jim and his new wife, Annie, find themselves tangling with holograms, psychics, messages from the beyond and a machine that connects the living and the dead. As Jim and Annie journey through history and fumble through faith, they confront the spectre of loss that looms for anyone who dares to fall in love. Funny, fiercely original and gracefully moving, The Afterlives will haunt you. In a good way.
Praise for The Afterlives
'A bracingly intelligent, beautifully rendered meditation on ghosts, technology, marriage, and the afterlife. This is a remarkable novel' Emily St. John Mandel
'Inventive, romantic, and unsettling, The Afterlives is a story of two people who take extraordinary measures to answer the Big Questions: What is the soul? Do we ever really die? Flabbergastingly original and sublimely satisfying' Amity Gaige
Ridiculously good... These stories never drift vaguely off into the ether. They are beautifully built, and their author has an especially deft way of finding just the right final flourish....[There's a] feeling of being inside a bubble while reading Mr. Pierce, and it is a bubble you won't want to leave. This is such a fine collection that there's not a stinker in the bunch....Mr. Pierce's originality, inventiveness, questing spiritual intelligence and animal fixation aren't easy to do justice to in the limited space here. But they're irrefutably good reasons to discover him for yourself - New York Times, praise for The Hall of Small Mammals
Thomas Pierce's fine new novel is often humorous, but Jim Byrd's search to find out what might lie beyond this life makes The Afterlives much more: a poignant inquiry into our human desire for permanence - Ron Rash
Inventive, romantic, and unsettling, The Afterlives is a story of two people who take extraordinary measures to answer the Big Questions: What is the soul? Do we ever really die? Flabbergastingly original and sublimely satisfying - Amity Gaige
A bracingly intelligent, beautifully rendered meditation on ghosts, technology, marriage, and the afterlife. This is a remarkable novel - Emily St. John Mandel
Thomas Pierce was born and raised in South Carolina. He is the author of the collection Hall of Small Mammals and his stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, VQR, Oxford American and elsewhere. A recipient of the National Book Foundation's 5 Under 35 Award, he is a graduate of the University of Virginia creative writing program. Pierce lives in Virginia with his wife and daughters.