Endpapers

A Novel
by Jennifer Savran Kelly

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In this page-turning novel set in 2003 New York City, a genderqueer book conservator feels trapped by her gender presentation, her ill-fitting relationship, and her artistic block—until she discovers a decades-old hidden queer love letter and becomes obsessed with tracking down its author. 

It's 2003,and artist Dawn Levit is stuck....
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Published By Algonquin Books

Format Hardback

Number Of Pages 336

Publication Date 02/07/2023

ISBN 9781643751849

Dimensions 5.9 inches x 8.6 inches


“Sometimes the hardest thing to be is our authentic selves. How do we do that when society has hidden and erased any path that could show us the way? Dawn Levit finds that heroic path by believing in hunches and looking for clues. Not quite a mystery novel, this is a story of following one’s own inner desire for belonging through art and surprising friendships. Savran Kelly creates a story full of humans who we long to be friends with after the last page is read. Love is acceptance, and this book is that and more.”
Amy Wallen, author of When We Were Ghouls

"Part portrait of the artist, part queer coming-of-age, and part investigative puzzle, this intimate, emotional novel parlays romance, passion, politics, and history into a compelling tale, beautifully and insightfully told. Jennifer Savran Kelly is an exciting, empathetic new voice.”
J. Robert Lennon, author of Subdivision and Let Me Think
 
Endpapers is a richly imagined and moving novel about identity, desire, and art. Its characters are believable and engaging, its plot intriguing, but just as important is its urgent subtext, a plea for humans to break free from constricting labels and instead behold each other in all their thorny, unpredictable individuality; to love complexity and uncertainty, rather than ideology and order. This just might be the most urgent issue of our time, and Endpapers tackles it with energy and—that most apropos weapon—subtlety.”
Brian Hall, author of The Stone Loves the World
 
“Jennifer Savran Kelly’s Endpapers immerses us in the world and mind of her engaging but struggling narrator Dawn—genderqueer, Jewish, a book conservator on a desperate search for queer role models and an artistic community. Endpapers is about the need to be fully seen—to locate oneself in the past in order to feel visible in the present. Savran Kelly is a masterful and compassionate storyteller, one who finds hope in the antidotes to hate and violence: community, art, authentic self. This is a book for all of us!”
Lori Ostlund, author of After the Parade
 
"A mystery wrapped in a love story wrapped in an artist’s coming of age, Endpapers is an ode to queer joy and the messiness of selfhood. With tenderness and insight, Jennifer Savran Kelly explores what we lose when we keep our innermost selves hidden—and what it means to forge an authentic life through art."
Antonia Angress, author of Sirens Muses
 
“Jennifer Savran Kelly’s Endpapers is the most personal novel about life as a gender-nonconforming person that I’ve ever read. It opens a window into what it’s like to live in a world where you need to disguise who you are just to get along, and yet, at its heart, it remains an abundantly hopeful story. It's a story full of messy, true life. I’m so glad I read it.”
Claire Oshetsky, author of Chouette
 
“Achingly evocative and thoroughly satisfying, Jennifer Savran Kelly’s Endpapers follows a genderqueer bookbinder through post-9/11 New York as she searches the city for answers about a long-hidden love letter and the outlines of her own identity. Part historical mystery, part meditation on the shifting nature of creativity and self, Endpapers is a story that bursts with warmth, community, and the sometimes-heartbreaking decisions we make when we begin to stitch together the spine of our lives."   
Katy Hays, author of The Cloisters
 
“Jennifer Savran Kelly’s Endpapers is an accomplished, moving novel where the search for answers to a literary mystery doubles as the search for queer authenticity in a world of bindings: book bindings, artistic bindings, social bindings. With humor, tenderness, and honesty, Savran Kelly lays bare the struggle to find our brilliant, beautiful selves—and the courage to go forth boldly with them.”
Zak Salih, author of Let’s Get Back to the Party
 

“…the mystery of Gertrude and Marta converges beautifully with the art-work that Dawn begins to conceive. Kelly is a bookbinder and book production editor, and the novel’s details of book and print restoration ground and add depth to Dawn’s story.”
 
— BookPage

“A dizzying, intimate mystery, an exploration of how we become engrossed in the stories of others in order to tell ones of ourselves.”
— Electric Literature

“It’s thoughtful and nuanced and full of gender exploration we rarely get to see…”
— LGBTQ Reads