“Dennis is in possession of hypnotic narrative gifts and a ferocious intellect. With Her Here, she has claimed her place in the literary world.” ―Rebecca Makkai, author of Music for Wartime and The Great Believers
“In Her Here, Dennis has written a metaphysical investigation that is also a wonderfully personal account of a daughter coming to terms with the loss of her mother, and a mother coming to terms with the loss of her daughter. As Elena conjures Ella’s last days, the richly imagined narrative moves back and forth between Paris and Thailand, carrying both characters and readers to a vivid and suspenseful conclusion.” ―Margot Livesey, author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy and The Boy in the Field
Elena, struggling with memory loss due to a trauma that has unmoored her sense of self, deserts graduate school and a long-term relationship to accept a bizarre proposition from an estranged family friend in Paris: she will search for a young woman, Ella, who went missing six years earlier in Thailand, by rewriting her journals. As she delves deeper into Ella’s story, Elena begins to lose sight of her own identity and drift dangerously toward self-annihilation.
Her Here is an existential detective story with a shocking denouement that plumbs the creative and destructive powers of narrative itself.
Born in Philadelphia, AMANDA DENNIS studied modern languages at Princeton and Cambridge Universities before earning her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley and her MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she was awarded a Whited Fellowship in creative writing. An avid traveler, she has lived in six countries, including Thailand, where she spent a year as a Princeton in Asia fellow. She has written about literature for the Los Angeles Review of Books and Guernica, and she is assistant professor of comparative literature and creative writing at the American University of Paris, where she is researching the influence of 20th-century French philosophy on the work of Samuel Beckett. Her Here (forthcoming from Bellevue Literary Press in March 2021) is her first novel.