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The Seventh Mansion: A Novel

$29.99

$29.99

A sensitive and awkward loner who is deeply concerned with the environment, sixteen-year-old Xie finds community in his rural town with Jo and Leni, two queer girls his age, with whom he frees some captive mink from a local farm. When Xie is the only one caught, his small world gets smaller: Kicked out of high school, he becomes increasingly connected with nature, spending his time in the birch woods behind his house, attending extremist activist meetings, and serving as a custodian for what others ignore, abuse, and discard.

Exploring the woods alone one night, Xie finds the relic of a Catholic saint hidden in a nearby church. Regal and dressed in ornate armor, it captivates him. After weeks of visits, Xie steals the skeleton, hides it in his attic bedroom, and develops a passionate relationship with the bones and spirit of the saint—the martyred Pancratius, or P.—who becomes Xie’s companion. But when Xie’s beloved woods are threatened by loggers, he and P. go to great lengths to protect them as Xie struggles to balance his conflicting—and increasingly extreme—ideals of purity, sacrifice, and responsibility. When the logging finally begins, blood is suddenly on the leaves.

With the sinister imagination and twisted empathy that made her collections Heartbreaker and Rag cult classics, Maryse Meijer's debut novel is a moving, shocking, and profoundly original coming-of-age story that explores finding love and selfhood in the face of mass extinction and environmental destruction. Balancing the extreme idealism of teenagehood with drastic real world stakes, The Seventh Mansion is an unforgettable dive into finding solace during personal and global catastrophe.

Book Information

  • ISBN: 9780374298463
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pub Date: 24/11/2020
  • Category: Fiction & related items / Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
  • Imprint: Farrar Straus Giroux
  • Pages: 192
  • Price: $29.99

A sensitive and awkward loner who is deeply concerned with the environment, sixteen-year-old Xie finds community in his rural town with Jo and Leni, two queer girls his age, with whom he frees some captive mink from a local farm. When Xie is the only one caught, his small world gets smaller: Kicked out of high school, he becomes increasingly connected with nature, spending his time in the birch woods behind his house, attending extremist activist meetings, and serving as a custodian for what others ignore, abuse, and discard.

Exploring the woods alone one night, Xie finds the relic of a Catholic saint hidden in a nearby church. Regal and dressed in ornate armor, it captivates him. After weeks of visits, Xie steals the skeleton, hides it in his attic bedroom, and develops a passionate relationship with the bones and spirit of the saint—the martyred Pancratius, or P.—who becomes Xie’s companion. But when Xie’s beloved woods are threatened by loggers, he and P. go to great lengths to protect them as Xie struggles to balance his conflicting—and increasingly extreme—ideals of purity, sacrifice, and responsibility. When the logging finally begins, blood is suddenly on the leaves.

With the sinister imagination and twisted empathy that made her collections Heartbreaker and Rag cult classics, Maryse Meijer's debut novel is a moving, shocking, and profoundly original coming-of-age story that explores finding love and selfhood in the face of mass extinction and environmental destruction. Balancing the extreme idealism of teenagehood with drastic real world stakes, The Seventh Mansion is an unforgettable dive into finding solace during personal and global catastrophe.

Author Information

Maryse Meijer is the author of the story collections Heartbreaker, which was one of Electric Literature’s 25 Best Short Story Collections of 2016, and Rag, which was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Pick and a finalist for the Chicago Review of Books Award for Fiction, as well as the novella Northwood. She lives in Chicago.