Where Life Lives On | Tess Gunty | Granta

Where Life Lives On

Tess Gunty

An excerpt from Tess Gunty’s debut novel The Rabbit Hutch.

Joan Kowalski is forty years old. Whenever she’s forced to provide a Defining Characteristic during a corporate ice breaker, she reveals that she has freckles on her eyelids but nowhere else. Group leaders always demand that she prove it. After she closes her eyes, at least two good-natured strangers make comments like, Oh my, or, I’ll be damned, or, Very nice. Joan never feels closer to anyone afterward, never feels like a defined character, and doesn’t understand why people are so eager to break the ice.

Joan works at Restinpeace.com, Where Life Lives On, screening obituary comments for foul language, copyrighted material, and mean­ spirited remarks about the deceased. ‘You would be surprised,’ she often tells people, ‘by how cruel people can be to the dead.’

After a lethally stylish coiffeur described Joan’s hair as ‘the color of February,’ she began to trim her bangs herself, at home, shorter than any stylist ever permitted. This performance of autonomy never ceases to exhilarate her. Like most denizens of Vacca Vale, Joan has never lived elsewhere, and she now occupies a small apartment in La Lapiniere Affordable Housing complex, on the corner of Bella Coola and Saint Francis. At the laundromat, once, she overheard two women discussing the origin story of their building: saddened by the economic decline of his hometown, a wonky Christian philanthropist – now a resident of Quebec – decided to donate money to fund an affordable housing complex in Vacca Vale. He had one stipulation: it must look and sound chic. So he chose a French word he liked and fastened it to a deteriorating building with vintage charm, prioritizing aesthetic over functionality. La Lapiniere Affordable Housing Complex was born. The building is located in the southern edge of downtown, with abandoned Zorn factories to its west and Chastity Valley to its east. In the early twentieth century, the building housed factory laborers. The donor selected a darling rabbit wallpaper for the lobby, along with brass rabbit lamps he wished to place in every apartment. Developers eventually vetoed the lamps in favor of updating the building’s water heater. After suffering a few more rejections, the donor stopped trying to influence the design. Now, most tenants of the building call their home by its English translation: the Rabbit Hutch.

Joan can eat an unnatural amount of watermelon in one sitting – a skill she sometimes employs to amuse friends and coworkers to the detriment of her digestion. She likes to ride the South Shore train to visit her aunt Tammy in Gary, Indiana. As the train pulls her across her state, she likes to watch the factories breathe orange fire into the sky, likes to imagine that she is a stowaway orphan headed toward a Big City Adventure. On the South Shore, she likes to read Charles Dickens because he pays attention to pollution but also makes her laugh, which makes her feel that it is possible to laugh in her own polluted city. Joan has never confidently traversed a crosswalk in her life, and she profoundly distrusts people who claim they don’t like bread.

On the afternoon of Tuesday, July sixteenth, Joan Kowalski sits at her desk, scanning an article that appeared on her newsfeed. A coworker that Joan wanted to impress and befriend brought a watermelon to lunch an hour earlier; performative gorging ensued. In the end, it was all for nothing. Joan said something irreverent about a member of a royal family, acutely upsetting the coworker. If Joan had known that the coworker was the sort to get defensive about monarchies, she wouldn’t have been so eager to impress her. But the damage is done.

According to the internet, cardiovascular threats associated with overeating watermelon include nausea, diarrhea, bloating, indigestion, and a ‘weak or absent pulse.’ Joan decides to distract herself from this information with the local news. She adjusts her drugstore glasses and leans closer to the screen. She can hear Sylvie crunching company Moon Chips in the adjacent cubicle. CELEBRATION INTERRUPTED BY DISTURBING ACT, reads the front page.

Joan doesn’t care much about the Valley development – she could take it or leave it – but this event does unnerve her. Especially the voodoo dolls. Although she would never admit it, Joan is positively drugged with superstition. The supernatural – witchcraft, God, bad luck, astrology, time travel – has a death grip on her. She remembers the spectral girl at the laundromat last night, inquiring about the afterlife. Some odd name. The girl was pale, white-haired, elven, thin. Pretty in a strange way. Phantomized. Come to think of it, the girl was exactly as Joan imagines the Ghost of Christmas Past whenever she rereads A Christmas Carol. She thinks of the women who starved themselves – the fiancées of Jesus. Sweating blood.

Suddenly, Joan wants witnesses. Could anyone else see that girl?


Joan quits the browser in a spasm of disgrace and spins. Her superior, Anne Shropshire, stands at the entrance of her cubicle. When Rest in Peace downsized two years prior, offices became stalls. To increase each employee’s sense of audial privacy as spatial privacy diminished, a white-noise soundtrack was installed in the ventilation. The office now sounds like a transatlantic flight. As a result, Restinpeace.com employees do enjoy intensified audial privacy, but they also frequently scare each other on accident. The office is rather tense.

Joan’s heart thuds. Relief that her pulse is neither weak nor absent briefly eclipses her shame.

‘Sorry to bother you,’ says Shropshire’, but I wanted to bring a little oversight to your attention.’

Joan folds her hands on her lap and waits. In the spotlight of direct attention, she becomes conscious of behaviour programmed to operate unconsciously, like breathing and eye contact. She stares too long or not long enough, blinks too often or too little, inhales at irregular intervals, yawns in moments of suspense. Three avian pins are fastened to Anne Shropshire’s blouse.

‘As I’m sure you know,’ says Shropshire, ‘the Elsie Blitz obituary has drawn quite a lot of traffic. Your job as a screener is always very important and very valued here at Rest in Peace, but on high-profile obituaries like Elsie Blitz’s, your job is even more important. Supremely important.’

Joan needs to blink but worries that this would be a creepy time to do so. Her eyes water.

‘Maybe you didn’t see the comment posted at four thirty-nine this morning by user Abominable Glow Man?’

Joan swallows incorrectly. ‘I – ’

‘I hope you didn’t, because I know that you know that it is our mission to foster a safe space. I hope that if you had read the comment, it would have been obvious to you that such a comment grossly violates our Respect the Deceased Policy, and you would have deemed it unfit for publication.’

Joan nods at an ambiguous diagonal. Sylvie’ s crunching has paused. ‘This is why we assume that you did not, in fact, see the comment. It would be alarming to us if you actually read the comment and approved it anyway.’

‘I got an,’ Joan begins, but the words are stuck in her throat. ‘I missed.’ She gives up.


‘He emailed me.’

Joan is proud of herself for delivering a whole sentence at a time like this, but Shropshire frowns.

‘What? Who did?’

‘The user. I – I tried to . . . delete his comment. But he.’ Joan is shaking. ‘Emailed.’


Through the bureaucratic obstacle course of the Contact Us! feature, user Abominable Glow Man managed to find Joan’s work email and inform her, politely, that he was the son of Elsie Jane Mcloughlin Blitz, and as such, he found Joan’s censorship inappropriate. As her son, the user claimed, he had a right to contribute a frank appraisal of her life. A quick google search confirmed that the name on the email matched the name of Elsie Blitz’s real son, although Joan understood that this proved nothing. Joan didn’t reply to the message but restored his comment, deciding that he had a point: standard filters ought not apply to family members of the deceased. In any case, hundreds of new comments flooded the Elsie guest book every minute, burying his. Better to leave it buried, concluded Joan. It was her favorite conclusion to reach, and she applied it to numerous quandaries.

‘And he was – he said – was her son,’ Joan stammers.

Anne Shropshire closes her eyes and flares her nostrils. It is interesting for Joan to see patience expiring in real time. ‘And because some completely unknown user, likely a troll, claimed to be related to the deceased, you thought their comment was appropriate?’

‘I had – got – ’

‘And let’s assume this stranger was telling the truth. A totally improbable claim, but let’s just assume for a moment. Do we have a provision for sons, Joan? Does the guidebook say that foul language, copyrighted material, and mean-spirited remarks are acceptable so long as they come from the family?’

Joan desperately needs to blink. It’s like her eyes have been pressed against a scanner. She shakes her head no.

‘No. It does not. We pride ourselves on protecting all of our online grievers, Joan,’ Shropshire says. ‘We strive to provide refuge for those otherwise drowning in agony. That’s our mission. That’s the whole point of us. But we can only accomplish this if each and every screener is dedicated and alert.’

When Rest in Peace downsized, they eliminated the coffee in the office kitchen. If you want us to be alert, Joan would say if she were an entirely different person, give us back our K-Cups!

‘You could be someone’s guardian angel,’ Shropshire continues, ‘or you could ruin someone’s week. Next time you’re scanning your comments and emails from terrorizers, I urge you to picture the grievers on the other side of the screen. Just picture them. The grandkids, the coworkers, the siblings, the parents, the spouses and real sons and real daughters of the deceased. Sitting in their little chairs in their dark little rooms, pillaging the internet for solace. I want you to picture their distress when they stumble upon your mistake. That one comment from that one troll on their beloved’s life summary, published because he claimed to share blood with the departed. I want you to imagine these poor souls as your error twists the knife of grief right in the heart of their guts. Can you picture that? Can you see them? Our grievers?’

To stave off an anxiety attack, Joan is breathing to the beat of ‘Ave Maria.’ She tries to picture the grievers – tries to picture the knife of grief right in the heart of their guts – but sees only an inexplicable beagle in a sweater, glowing before a desktop.

‘Every day, you need to ask yourself: Am I going to be a guardian angel today, or a knife-twister?’

Joan blinks. It is the wrong time to do so, but it feels spectacular. ‘We value you,’ Shropshire repeats. ‘But that’s not enough. You have to value yourself.’

Anne Shropshire turns to go but stops. ‘One more thing,’ she says. ‘Defecation emojis are unacceptable. I thought that’d be obvious, but apparently not. Really, Joan. Wake up.’

She leaves. White noise thunders. Sylvie’s crunching resumes.





An Absolutely True Story

Obituary >> Condolences >> Photo Reel > > Guest Book




Tuesday, 16 July

Dearest Loved Ones, Enemies, Voyeurs, and Fans,

One advantage of dying slowly is that you get to write your own obituary. I could have left the task to the kid of a friend with the poetry MFA, or the journalist with the serious hair, but instead I propose a new genre: the auto-obituary. Eighty-six years on Earth, condensed by the one who lived them. In an era of confessional status updates, factory farmed memoir, and federal tweeting, it seems appropriate to deliver my own farewell address. I, Elsie Jane McLaughlin Blitz, pink-cheeked television sweetheart, activist, and – above all – devoted mother, hereby offer a sweeping assessment of my life as it was lived. I assure you it will have almost nothing to do with me. Part of it is considered a ‘listicle’ by those who ought to know. I am nothing if not a modern woman.

At the risk of sounding terminally Los Angeles, I will begin by suggesting to you that we are interconnected and interdependent, no matter how fiercely narcissism reigns. I hope you will keep that in mind as you consider the pygmy three-toed sloth.

As you should know if you are a sentient creature alive in the Information Age, the pygmy three-toed sloth, Bradypus pygmaeus, is the most endangered of all Xenarthra, its minuscule population restricted to a single mangrove forest on an island off the Caribbean coast of Panama. The sloths have lived on these same 4.3 square kilometers for nearly nine thousand years, and they are thus invaluable specimens of evolution. Island dwarfism has made the pygmy three-toed sloth the smallest of its genus. Because it is a perilously slow creature, the pygmy three-toed sloth depends upon camouflage for its survival and has thus developed a symbiotic relationship with green algae, which grows on the sloth’s fur at no cost to its health. I now write to you from the only home the pygmy three-toed sloth has ever known, Isla Escudo de Veraguas, where I currently sit on an orthopedic mattress, on which I have requested to die. Half of my ashes will be tossed into the sea, where the resplendent sloth often swims, and one-fourth will be scattered at the roots of the red mangrove trees, in which it lives and on which it feeds. Scientists estimate that fewer than eighty of these individuals persist on the island, due to illegal mangrove destruction, climate change, and poaching.

What about the last fourth of my ashes, you ask? The last fourth of my ashes will be sold to the highest bidder on eBay, proceeds benefiting the EDGE campaign to save the pygmy sloths. So bid while the ashes are hot, my darlings.

First, I will share a selection of life lessons, in no particular order. I will then provide a list of valuable items I have lost, followed by a few notes, and then an absolutely true story. Because most of us have so little tolerance for negative space, unreality, and nonutilitarian language, you will find a reward for reading said story. Finally, I will offer my concluding reflections on fame and death.

If you miss me after I perish, you will find my spirit virtually lingering here. I also recommend the somewhat outdated but neverthe­less extraordinary documentary, Hanging with the Sloth – a collaborative effort between Jeri Ledbetter and Bill Hatcher, two visionaries I admire very much.


A Selection of Life Lessons in No Particular Order:


  1. Supplement therapy with boxing Energy can neither be created nor destroyed.
  2. When you’re thirteen years old and actor Charlie Newman offers to teach you chess, accept, even if you already know how to play.
  3. When you’re sixteen years old and game show host Henry Hawk offers to teach you something in his hotel room, decline.
  4. If you fail to decline, don’t whine about the emotional aftermath, because you knew what you were getting yourself into when you removed your rings.
  5. Always get on the boat.
  6. If someone refuses alcohol, never ask why.
  7. Tell no one, excepting your agent, that you can cry on command.
  8. Open bathroom doors cautiously. Especially in Manhattan, Paris, Budapest, Berlin, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Havana, and San Francisco.
  9. Beaver fur is underrated.
  10. Natural births are overrated.
  11. Always order dark drinks at charity events, in case you encounter the likes of Darlene Pickens, so you may spill the drink on her dress, which will be white, because she lacks a personality.
  12. Bring pot brownies to your private bankers and flirt with them, if possible.
  13. If you see someone weeping on a bridge, always stop and place your hand on that person’s shoulder.
  14. Winter in Gruyeres, Switzerland. Summer in Colmar, France. Autumn in Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy. Spring in Monemvasia, Greece.
  15. The more attractive the stranger, the greater the imperative to use a condom.
  16. Marry at least twice.
  17. Forgo social media.
  18. Believe in ghosts but not God, unless your conception of God is much like a ghost.
  19. Take a pottery class in the fall; you will never be short of Christmas presents.
  20. The streets you walk, the food you eat, the job you work, the method of transportation you choose, the beauty products you purchase, the shows you watch, the links you click, the way you sit on a train, the way you speak to waiters, the way you take your coffee-everything affects everyone. Find a way to believe this, even when sober.
  21. Do not let your children become casualties of your damage.
  22. Do not have children if you cannot ensure the above.


Three Lost Items Which if Found Must Be Sold to Benefit the EDGE Campaign to Protect the Pygmy Three-Toed Sloths:


  1. A leather notebook of handwritten recipes, to-do lists, prayers, and uplifting quotes. It has my mother’s name on the back cover. Margaret Deirdre Mcloughlin. Robins-egg blue. (Last seen: winter, 1983, Geneva.)
  2. A ruby-red coffee thermos with the initials M.B. inscribed on the base, given to me by my father, who seldom spent money, and hated coffee, and was an exceedingly good man. (Last seen: fall, 1964, Los Angeles.)
  3. A taxidermic golden pheasant, lost in a cross-country move. (Last seen: April, 1990, somewhere between Los Angeles and New York.)


An Open Letter to My First Husband:


Although I forgive you for the incredible pain you inflicted upon my young and tender heart, I am glad we never reproduced. You mugged my twenties. It is shocking to me that you are still alive.


An Open Letter to My Son Moses Robert Blitz:


Hard to believe that my little blond baby is fifty-three years old. And no hope of grandkids! Ha! Though we have our differences, I love you beyond language. Your body is healthy, Moses – there is nothing sprouting out of it. And for Christ’s sake, I insist that you quit your bizarre charade. Don’t be surprised, Moses. Of course I know of it. If there’s one thing money can buy, it’s surveillance. Listen to me very closely: being looked at is not the same as being seen. If I can teach you anything before I die, let it be that.


An Absolutely True Story:


Back when my cells behaved, I believed that I would live forever. If you share this belief, do whatever it takes – go to church, get an app, break formation, get a tattoo, anything – to hatch out of this delusion and into the truth. Because one day you will die, I promise, and mortality does not care if you believe in it.

All my life, I just tried to have some fun. I was an artist of fun and a failure at everything else. What we need, at the end, is a parent or two. A leash and a fence, a bedtime, a tooth fairy. Milk on the stove. But if we’re lucky, we are furthest from childhood at the end of our lives. If we’re lucky, we are closest to our parents, but they evade us until it’s officially over. What we get instead of these comforts is a meet-cute with Death. He is always early.

I met Him one March afternoon outside a shoe store in Florida. I was gazing into a fish tank from my wheelchair, seeing myself in the glass, seeing America in the fish, who were busy and doomed and theistic. As usual, I was making plans to rectify the crimes of my motherhood when He interrupted. I was eighty-five years old. Sex had long evacuated my body, and yet when He marched toward me, my ovaries did a little jig. I have never found it easy to distinguish between arousal and a fight-or-flight response. His scent alarmed me – I could have accepted decay, but this scent was antilife, the scent of absolutely nothing, less alive than rock. He knelt and batted His eyelashes on the top of my right hand­ – that’s how He says hello, how He royals you up. I didn’t recognize Him at first, although He emitted an aura of celebrity.

‘Can I take a selfie with you?’ He asked me.

I never say yes to a selfie, but then I saw His scythe. ‘You bet,’ I said.

He snapped three. Then, in view of the security guard, He slipped his hand into my pocket and took something. After that, he left.

The security guard didn’t notice. My son was the one I wanted to call.

My assistant emerged from the store with three pairs of shoes for me. She opened one box like a casket and offered me the ruby walking shoes inside. An absurd gesture, all things considered. She nestled my feet into them with care. ‘You look like death,’ she said. ‘Anything I can do for you?’

I told her to dial my son. She did, although we both knew it was futile; he had blocked me months before. She feigned surprise.

Later, my phone buzzed during tea. I jumped and beamed, sure it was him. But it was Him.

Text from an unknown number. A photo of the thing He took in a vase on a toilet.

How did you get this number? I typed. I am a slow typer. He sent a rabbit emoji.

At once, I knew that this was, as they say, the beginning of the end. Soon, I would have to do a lot of agonizing. This is it, isn’t it, I texted Death. He sent me a GIF of a walrus vigorously nodding, with the caption: Indeed, indeed, indeed, indeed, indeed.

I wanted Him on my side, so I summoned some friendly banter. In the following weeks, we stayed in touch. I had heard from the clergy that He gives you some time to organize your affairs, so I asked Him for an extension. We negotiated. Three months, He settled. One more birthday.

He is not a barbaric captain – somebody has to do the dirty work. Nor is He a philosopher, thank God. The last thing you want to do at the end of your life is math. I am not His detainee, and He is not my boss, and I am not His client, and He is not my muse, but neither of us are free. I misjudged Him when we first met: He’s very DMV about his work. All business, despite the inefficiency. No sex. Not even dinner.

The doctor called a week after I met Him. I was nonplussed, but everybody else wept.

‘What can I do for you?’ asked my assistant. ‘Rewire me,’ I said. ‘My selfishness.’

She ordered me a massage.

People caught wind of it. My end. After decades of paparazzi, gossip columns, interviews, and talk shows, they wanted more. They wanted to know the Real Me. Crowds materialized outside my neighborhood like invasive pests, destroying the landscape. After the internet was invented, I often rifled through my son’s browser history – that’s how I got to know him. But how could anyone get to know me, when my history, browser and otherwise, has already been exposed? If you want to know me, memorize the wine stains on my sheets, I tweeted reluctantly. I am sorry I cannot be of more service. I have only seen myself three times.

Once while observing a female wolf at my hometown zoo.

Once at the Temple of the Feathered Serpent in Teotihuacán, Mexico.

Once at the fish tank outside of the shoe store in Key West.

Suddenly, it was a Friday in the four o’clock range, two weeks before my death – my most loathed hour. A purgatorial hour, neither after­noon nor evening, too early to eat and too early to drink, an hour that encourages its hostages to tally up their failures, an hour that portrays one’s entire life as a parking garage. I stared at my phone.

‘What can I do for you?’ my assistant asked me. ‘Tell him I’m dying.’

She did.

As my son knows better than anyone, I am Olympic at walking away, even after the wheelchair. Your gift is your cross, my mother always said. She was very Catholic and did not know how to have fun. That night, there was a fire in the marble. Blistered carrots, lamb shank, and hot pearled couscous with lemon and tahini on my plate. Fresh pomegranate juice in my glass, black and white on the television, an email from the estate lawyer in my computer, never-ending company in my house. Nothing from my son.

‘What can I do for you?’ asked my assistant.

I gave her the destination. She arranged a journey to my beloved sloths and held my hand on my plane as she wept. I told her to pull herself together. I told her I wanted an American flag in the room where I would die. Billowing white veil. I told her things I never told anyone: I confessed that the supporting roles I took after the lupus were existential pool noodles. I never quit smoking. Rehab, by some measures, was the best time of my life. I am still haunted by what my son said to me on the balcony, during my sixtieth birthday party: Here you are with your five-hundred-dollar cake, and still you want to jump. I left the party to box an angel oak tree and cry. I love best in snow, and I sing best in stairwells, and I pee best on trains. Sometimes I make a pile of Himalayan pink salt on my palm and lick it, just lick it. When I wear socks to bed, I have the most erotic and transporting dreams. Half my life, I have been waiting for someone to yell: Action. The other half, I have been waiting for some­ one to yell: Cut. All my life, I have been cute. These conditions make you selfish, and America knows them well.

Then one day you find yourself in a boutique of terminal illness, forced to purchase something in order to use the bathroom, and from then on, you have nothing to think about excepting a catalogue of the instances you took when you could have given.

My assistant said, ‘You are not alone.’

‘There is no time to update my software,’ I snapped at her the next day, from my death bed. ‘Who in God’s name cares if my cursor’s disappeared?’

‘What can I do for you?’ she asked. That dreadful refrain. She offered me a cottage, a precious director, a bottomless brunch. The window was open, and the breeze was hot, and the pain was totalizing.

‘Blamelessness,’ I told her. ‘Doctor my biography.’

‘A pillow,’ my assistant said. ‘I’ll get you the world’s best pillow.’

My son is the first call I make in the morning and my last call at night. He knows that I will not live forever, but I want to tell him that he will not live forever. I want to tell him that everyone – everyone – is wrong about mortality. Across every season of every year, I nursed on summer, but now its milk is dry. I want to tell my son that I am so sorry. Death is in the room with me now, doing squats beside the air conditioner. We wear identical socks. Socks embroidered with white rabbits. While I wait, I Command F my life for mentions of my son, details that might justify his absence. Or maybe I’m looking for a contradiction, a counterargument, proof that I wasn’t such a bad mother, after all. No matches. I shut the screen, inconsolable because my cursor is gone.


Do Not Read This Unless You Have Read the Absolutely True Story:


In Rock Paper Scissors, pick rock first. Most people choose scissors. This is my most painful tip to relinquish, as its advantage is dependent upon its secrecy, which is why I offer it as reward.


Concluding Remarks on Fame and Death:


They’re both so lonely and boring.


Elsie Jane McLaughlin Blitz



R.I.P, Tho


Obituary >> Condolences >> Photo Reel > > Guest Book

Featured Memorial:



July 16

Excellent lady and excellent obituary!! Gotta love her spunk for writing it herself! Of course, she always had spunk, that Elsie! Ha! Ha! She was an Original! 😉 Rest in Peace, Dear Ms. Blitz, you will always be remembered as one of the world’s greatest juvenile stars, & a devoted activist, & mother. So many ppl are ruined by fame, especially when they get it at a young age, like you did, but all fame did, was give you a sense of hu3mor! You are safe now.

Terri Collins, Deer Park, MD


July 16

RIP sweet Angel. . . . . . . . JESUS will welcome You into His lovng Arms. . . . . . . . . . . . Pain is finish now. . . . . . . . many PRAYERS for u and ur Fam ily. . . . never Forgotten dear One

Agnes Silvers, naples, FL


July 16

well that ‘absolutely true story’ was 5 minutes of life i’m never getting back but peace out god bless

justin, Henderson, NV


July 16

‘It matters not how long you live, but how well you live.’ Elsie Blitz lived both long and well. She is a sweetheart of golden age American television and she will be sorely missed. My prayers and condolences go out to her family. God be with the1n and with all who grieve.

Dr. Juan Alvarez, Sante Fe, NM


July 16

wew I do not kno what to say that ‘still life of death’ too much for me wew wew ~ but good luck to heir i guess + clutch tip re: rock paper scissors!!!!!!!!! /// have a nice afterlife elsie you;re international treasurrrrrrrrrrrre

wesley sugar, poulsbo, washingtonnnnn


July 16

if she can die, everyone could. o i am so sad.

Dhrubo A., Kolkata, India


July 16

Cheers to Elsie Blitz: Voice of the Pygmy Sloths!

Mohammed Patel, London, England


July 16

sorta creepy that she wrote her own obituary hahahaa but r.i.p. great life lessons

Adam Pejewski, Denver, CO


July 16




July 16

Love her. Love the obituary. Love the absolutely true story. Love life. Love words. Hate death.

Ishani K., Mumbai, India


July 16

ugh i used to do rock first & i always won

r.i.p. tho

joey shmoey, montreal, canada July 16


July 16


Abonimable Glow Man, Like I’d Ever Tell You Where The Fuck I Live


Image © Tonamel

Tess Gunty

Tess’s debut novel, The Rabbit Hutch, will be published by Knopf on August 2nd, 2022. Her second novel, Honeydew, will publish in 2023. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from NYU, where she was a Lillian Vernon Fellow. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Iowa Review, Joyland, Freeman’s, the Los Angeles Review of Books, No Tokens, Flash, and elsewhere. Tess lives in Los Angeles.

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