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Meet Abigail Willard, a forty-something working mother who is haunted—literally—by her younger self.
A taut, twisting work of literary suspense, You Again audaciously unboxes the memories, mistakes, ambitions and obsessions of a woman struggling to balance it all. A series of uncanny encounters with this strange younger double upend Abby’s workaday life–and send her hurtling toward a crossroads where an old secret lies buried like an undetonated bomb.
Abigail Willard first spots her from the back of a New York cab: the spitting image of Abby herself at age twenty-two—right down to the silver platforms and raspberry coat she wore as a young artist with a taste for wildness. But the real Abby is now forty-six and married, with a corporate job and two kids. As the girl vanishes into a rainy night, Abby is left shaken. Was this merely a hallucinatory side effect of working-mom stress? A message of sorts, sent to remind her of passions and dreams tossed aside? Or something more dangerous?
As weeks go by, Abby continues to spot her double around her old New York haunts—and soon, despite her better instincts, Abby finds herself tailing her look-alike. She is dogged by a nagging suspicion that there is a deeper mystery to figure out, one rooted far in her past. All the while, Abby’s life starts to slip from her control: her marriage hits major turbulence, her teenage son drifts into a radical movement that portends a dark coming era. When her elusive double presents her with a dangerous proposition, Abby must decide how much she values the life she’s built, and how deeply she knows herself.
- Listed in Best Thrillers of 2020 by the New York Times, December 11, 2020
- Review in the Washington Post by Lisa Zeidner, July 14, 2020
- Review in the New York Times Book Review by Sarah Lyall, June 28, 2020
- Audio review by NPR’s Marion Winick, The Weekly Reader
- Strand Critics Award finalist
- Gotham Book Prize honorable mention
- YOU AGAIN group show, Summer, 2021: YOU AGAIN, an art exhibition curated by artist Franklin Evans and inspired by Debra Jo Immergut’s novel, July 24 to July 31, 2021 at Miles McEnery Gallery, NYC
Evocatively written, keenly self-aware, and peppered with artful observations that lend the story texture, vibrancy, and depth. At once a mind-bending puzzle and a profound meditation on love, fate, ambition, and regret. — KIRKUS REVIEWS (starred)
Immergut delivers a furious page-turner.—BOOKLIST
Debra Jo Immergut’s stunning YOU AGAIN feels eerily relevant, perfect for this time of deep uncertainty and rapidly shifting news. It is dreamlike and immersive, like falling into someone else’s alternative reality. — New York Times Book Review
An elegant literary puzzle... an ingenious maze…and a sophisticated argument about the nature of time and memory…Immergut writes with clarity and compassion about ‘ambitions that refused to be thwarted.’ Think of YOU AGAIN as ‘A Portrait of the Artist as a Not-so-Young Woman,’ on a shelf that would include Claire Messud’s ‘The Woman Upstairs’— but with the addition of a mystery as a compelling chaser. — Washington Post
Inventive…YOU AGAIN, combining psychological suspense and fantasy, is a family-life novel, an art-world chronicle and an examination of the mutability of reality…. Ms. Immergut provides several brain-teasing surprises—and ties up her theoretical loose ends in a manner that still allows readers the space to wonder. — Wall Street Journal
“With mesmerizing deftness, You Again brilliantly reimagines
a woman’s search for her lost ambition as a psychological thriller. This book takes the questions of middle age—What happens to an artist’s creative force when she becomes a mother with a day job? Can we recover lost time and neglected passion? Is idealism the purview of the young?—and turns them inside out. An extraordinary book.”—HEATHER ABEL, author of The Optimistic Decade
“Debra Jo Immergut’s You Again implicates the reader into a dark mystery that begins with suspicion and ends exactly where it must. Immergut writes this stunning portrait of a woman on the brink of collapse as only she can write it—which is to say, beautifully, intelligently, and full of compassion.” —BRANDON HOBSON, National Book Award finalist and author of Where the Dead Sit Talking
“So accomplished, so glorious—a complete original from page one.” —JANET FITCH, author of The Revolution of Marina M. and Chimes of a Lost Cathedral
“Debra Jo Immergut brings her considerable literary talent to bear
in this thrilling and beautifully imagined exploration of a universally tantalizing notion—meeting your younger self! You Again is a swirling, propulsive novel of suspense and a deep dive into time, memory, art, and family. Ambitious and enthralling.” —JAMES A. McLAUGHLIN, author of Bearskin
“Mysterious and compelling. I’m in awe of the prose. On pretty much every page I was thinking, damn, I wish I’d thought of that.” —JAMES HYNES, author of Next and The Lecturer’s Tale