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In Alexis Schaitkin's cult-favorite novel Saint X, the author used the disappearance of a teenage girl vacationing on a Caribbean island to explore white privilege and class, all under the auspices of a haunting mystery narrative. Now Schaitkin is bringing her specific brand of page-turning writing to another novel.

Elsewhere, which is being lauded by her publishers as a mix of Shirley Jackson's The Lottery and Margaret Atwood, will publish June 28, 2022 — and EW has all the details. The book is about, in short, mothers who disappear. Here's the official synopsis:

Vera grows up in a small town, removed and isolated, pressed up against the mountains, cloud-covered and damp year-round. This town, fiercely protective, brutal and unforgiving in its adherence to tradition, faces a singular affliction: some mothers vanish, disappearing into the clouds. It is the exquisite pain and intrinsic beauty of their lives; it sets them apart from people elsewhere and gives them meaning.

Vera, a young girl when her own mother went, is on the cusp of adulthood herself. As her peers begin to marry and become mothers, they speculate about who might be the first to go, each wondering about her own fate. Reveling in their gossip, they witness each other in motherhood, waiting for signs: this one devotes herself to her child too much, this one not enough — that must surely draw the affliction's gaze. When motherhood comes for Vera, she is faced with the question: will she be able to stay and mother her beloved child, or will she disappear?

While we wait for the book's summer release, EW is also exclusively debuting the cover. Elsewhere is available for preorder now.

'Elsewhere,' by Alexis Schaitkin
'Elsewhere,' by Alexis Schaitkin
| Credit: Macmillan

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