By Katy Simpson Smith
HarperCollins, March 24, 2020
Spanning two thousand years, The Everlasting follows four characters whose struggles resonate across the centuries: an early Christian child martyr; a medieval monk on crypt duty in a church; a Medici princess of Moorish descent; and a contemporary field biologist conducting an illicit affair.
Moving back through time from today (The Wilderness) to the Renaissance (The City) to the Middle Ages (The Grave) and finally to Rome under Marcus Aurelius (The Paradise), Tom, Guilia, Felix, and Prisca search and suffer for love in the eternal city, made vivid and familiar as they reappear in each century.
“Only Katy Simpson Smith could have written a novel of such elegance, emotional power, and grace. The Everlasting, a quadruple love story spanning two millennia, is no less than the story of love itself—its frustrations and thrills, its blunders and transcendent glories. Meraviglioso.” — Nathaniel Rich, author of Losing Earth
“In The Everlasting Katy Simpson Smith has magnificently re-imagined what a historical novel might be, and what our near-now might look like if we could only properly see. A child, a princess, a monk, a father—each storyline feels charged, accurate, uncanny and yet also touched by love. A distinctive and unostentatiously brilliant book.” — Rivka Galchen, author of Atmospheric Disturbances
“In a rare display of lyrical erudition, Katy Simpson Smith’s gorgeous novel lets us feel the depth and density of history by showing us how every life is both an echo of the past and a relic of the future.” — Hernan Diaz, author of In the Distance
“It is so very rare to find a writer whose blistering ambition when it comes to bringing history alive on the page is matched by an equal ability to build and break sentences in beautiful ways. Katy Simpson Smith is that writer, and The Everlasting—a bold and ingenious novel spanning multiple time periods and characters with the ease of David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas—is full of rich and brilliant ideas about Rome, home, free will, sin, sensation, and civilization. It's an incredible achievement.” — Jonathan Lee, author of High Dive
About the Author
Katy Simpson Smith was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. She attended Mount Holyoke College and received a PhD in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. She is the author of We Have Raised All of You: Motherhood in the South, 1750-1835, and the novels The Story of Land and Sea and Free Men. Her writing has also appeared in The Oxford American, Granta, Literary Hub, Catapult, and Lenny. She lives in New Orleans.