A Novel
by Mesha Maren

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From “a highest-order storyteller of Southern noir” (Electric Literature), a queer coming-of-age novel about addiction, belonging, and loving a place that doesn't always love you back.

When sixteen-year-old Shae meets Cam, who is new to their small town in West Virginia, she thinks she has found someone who is everything...

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Published By Algonquin Books

Format Hardback

Number Of Pages 224

Publication Date 05/21/2024

ISBN 9781643755663

Dimensions 5.62 inches x 8.5 inches

Literary Hub Most Anticipated Book of 2024

“Most Anticipated Queer Adult Fiction, January-June 2024” - LGBTQ Reads

“The Best Books of Spring 2024" - Electric Literature

“Maren brilliantly gives voice to a New South, introducing us to two unforgettable characters whose journeys echo the struggles of queer people across the country. This book is essential for the new queer canon emerging from Southern writers. I can’t wait to put this in the hands of so many people who need it and will no doubt see themselves in this beautiful narrative.”

“An expansive, quietly devastating novel that fearlessly explores queer love, motherhood and the siren call of addiction."

“Mesha Maren paints a vivid, unforgettable portrait of two young women—one cis and one trans—living in West Virginia and trying to break free from the confinements of gender, class, and sexuality. Mesha Maren is a visionary storyteller and her prose is incandescent. The sentences shimmer with precision, elegance, and grit. It’s the kind of book that gets under your skin. I couldn't put it down. Shae is a beautiful, big-hearted novel about love, desire, and daring to be one’s self. I will be thinking about the characters for a long time.”

“Harrowing...heartrending...there is much to savor here. An alternately tender and challenging trip down the rabbit hole with an unforgettable young woman."

— Kirkus Reviews

“Maren is an astute and indispensable chronicler of Appalachian queerness.” 

— Electric Literature

“Emotionally taut. Maren beautifully evokes both the natural beauty of Appalachia and Shae’s plaintive longing for Cam… Maren continues to show a knack for portraying the complexities and contradictions of an often-misunderstood part of America.”

— Publishers Weekly

“In stark, reflective prose, Maren (Perpetual West, 2022) lets Shae’s voice guide the narrative. Readers will connect with Maren’s sensitively told story of love, dependence, and the opioid epidemic.”

— Booklist

“What a gorgeous gut punch of a book! Maren has outdone herself with her third novel; I was in love from the first page. Maren’s prose will break your heart even while you stop to soak in its beauty. Do not miss this book.”

— Electric Literature

“Queer Reads: Mesha Maren’s ‘Shae’ is a queer, Appalachian coming-of-age story."

— Dallas Voice