It Lasts Forever and Then It’s Over

Anne de Marcken

French paperback with flaps, 132 pages
Published 7 March 2024

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The heroine of the spare and haunting It Lasts Forever and Then It’s Over is voraciously alive in the afterlife. Adrift yet keenly aware, she notes every bizarre detail of her new reality. And even if she has forgotten her name and much of what connects her to her humanity, she remembers with an implacable and nearly unbearable longing the place where she knew herself and was known—where she loved and was loved. Traveling across the landscapes of time and of space, heading always west, and carrying a dead but laconically opinionated crow in her chest, our undead narrator encounters and loses parts of her body and her self in one terrifying, hilarious, and heartbreaking situation after another. A tale for our dispossessed times, and one of the sharpest and funniest novels of recent years, It Lasts Forever and Then It’s Over plumbs mortality and how it changes everything, except possibly love.

‘[A] soul-stirringly expansive novel, It Lasts Forever and Then It’s Over, classic dramatic structures – introduction, rise, climax, fall, resolution – are distended, and linger after the curtains close.… By resisting endings, de Marcken’s deeply imaginative novel reflects that world – our collective story.’
Kate Simpson, Telegraph

‘It is simply glorious. Zombie existence has its poetics; it critiques its own definitions…. [And] these zombies genuinely try to communicate with one another: their conversations are relayed with an almost Beckettian skill, and are very funny – very bathetic, very heartbreaking – indeed. Anne de Marcken’s success has been to write a zombie novel that is not in any sense about zombies as we’ve previously given them permission to be. Here they are struggling, just like us, to reject the cultural baggage and separate what is really happening from what is not. They are working to own themselves and be proud. As a sly tour of the slow-motion disaster of the Anthropocene, It Lasts Forever and Then It’s Over captures and concentrates the energies of all of us listeners at the zombie hotel.’
M. John Harrison, Times Literary Supplement

‘Astounding, inventive, and utterly original, Anne de Marcken has written a freakish classic with wisdom to spare about life, death, and the eerily vast space between. I was absolute putty in this book’s hands.’
— Alexandra Kleeman, author of Something New Under the Sun

It Lasts Forever is sad, shocking, funny, prophetic, visceral, and deeply human. From amid the dislocations, the lacerations, a profound meditation arises. Highly recommended.’
— Jeff VanderMeer, author of Dead Astronauts

‘[T]he prose is exquisite and the form is inventive, and there is plenty of white space between fragments of text and a handful of doodles. It’s wry and moving and very beautiful.’
Susie Mesure, Spectator

‘De Marcken’s novella is a zombie story, adapting this overused popular trope and making it anew. It is an accomplished debut novel from the American writer that follows the meditative wanderings of a zombie who can’t remember her name…. [I]t is, surprisingly, full of tender moments and sustained throughout by a love that persists even in de Marcken’s post-apocalyptic world.’
Brooke Boland, Sydney Morning Herald

‘[A] strange, haunting novel by Anne de Marcken, whose acerbic voice breathes new life into the fictional possibilities of the undead.’
Joshua Rees, Buzz

‘Long and short, it’s hard to imagine a more erudite zombie story. This is de Marcken’s central trope — and her triumph. She seizes the gut-smeared cliches of The Walking Dead and recomposes them as a philosophical odyssey. Better yet, despite her fiction’s core seriousness, its quest for the Real, her undead stumble through a Grand Guignol farce.’
— ​​John Domini, Brooklyn Rail

Praise for The Accident

‘Crepuscular and gradual, minimal and tender, the words and photographic poems in Anne de Marcken’s The Accident are filled with measured, continuous, indestructible longing…. she has a quiet way of making you surrender, ecologically and aesthetically, through her account’s transient, fugitive beauty and explicit interlacing dormant fragility.’
— Vi Khi Nao, author of Human Tetris

The Accident takes place in that gap between seeing and feeling, feeling and knowing, ‘a bird trapped inside your head’ and ‘something brighter than fear.’ Lunar in its hold and its hope, this is a book that reaches through trauma to uncover memory as an end and a beginning. With its deft shifts in perspective, its images at once soothingly atmospheric and hauntingly specific, The Accident gestures toward a dream where intimate claustrophobia gives way to a landscape that shifts with the imagination.’
— Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, author of Sketchtasy

Anne de Marcken lives in the United States on unceded land of the Coast Salish people. She is the founding editor and publisher of The 3rd Thing.