The Rest of Us

By Jessica Lott
(Simon & Schuster, Hardcover, 9781451645873, 304pp.)

Publication Date: July 2, 2013

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback

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A gorgeous literary debut about second chances, The Rest of Us is an indelible love story that explores the legacy of an affair between a young student and her older professor.

As a college student, Terry fell madly and destructively in love with Rhinehart, her famous poetry professor, tumbling into a relationship from which she never fully recovered. Now, fifteen years later, she’s single, still living in the same walk-up she moved into after college, and languishing as a photographer’s assistant, having long abandoned her own art. But when she stumbles upon Rhinehart’s obituary online, she finds herself taking stock of the ways her life has not lived up to her youthful expectations and grows disproportionately distraught at the thought that she’ll never see him again.

She is shocked when a few weeks later she bumps into Rhinehart himself: very much alive, married, and Christmas shopping at Bloomingdale’s. What ensues is an intense and beautiful friendship, an unexpected second act that pushes Terry to finally reckon with the consequences of their past and the depth of her own aspirations—and to begin to come back alive as an artist and a woman. Set in New York’s vibrant art world, The Rest of Us is a captivating read and is as much a love letter to the city and the struggles of its artists as it is a sharp and stirring novel of the heart.

About the Author

Jessica Lott is the author of Osin, which won Low Fidelity Press’s Novella Award. She has an MA in creative writing from Boston University and an MA in English literature from Washington University in St. Louis. She writes for Art21, and her art reviews have appeared in Frieze and New York Arts. She lives in New York City.

Praise For The Rest of Us

"Although The Rest of Us is about art, love and life, it is also about longing and belonging. Jessica writes with tremendous skill and sophistication, and the novel is truly a pleasure to read."
-Ha Jin

"Jessica Lotte(TM)s debut is a heartbreaking work of staggering insights written in admirably crystalline prose. An intelligently-rendered May-September story of love, longing, and obsession, The Rest of Us recalls both Philip Rothe(TM)s The Dying Animal and Chad Harbache(TM)s The Art of Fielding, but with a compassion, a point of view, and an attention to detail that are all Lotte(TM)s own."
-Adam Langer

"In her debut novel, the vastly talented and wise beyond her years Jessica Lott crafts a beautifully written and clear-eyed portrait of the artist as a young woman, showing us the other side of the starry-eyed-female-coed-older-famous-college-professor love affair, while tackling the complicated issues of female identity and ambition and the need to make art and feel known."
-Elissa Schappell

Praise for Osin:

eoeThe sentences are clean and direct and active and with them she slowly builds a world of complex characters who are struggling, in real ways, to figure out how to connect.e
-Aimee Bender

eoeA funny and moving story, which shows love survives pain, folly, and losseseThis novella is a work of mature sensibility and deep light. It should signify an important debut.e
-Ha Jin

eoeThe Rest of Us is a sharply observant and sexy debut about love, art, feminism, and the search for identity. Ite(TM)s also a valentine to New York, a city whose every landscape here offers memories of the past and opportunities for the future. I particularly admire the emotional nuance and complexity of Lotte(TM)s characters.e
-Enid Shomer, author of The Twelve Rooms of the Nile

"Deeply satisfying . . . Lott's story is a thoughtful exploration of what it means to bring our dreams to life and an important reminder of the courage it takes to do so."

eoeLott's talent for poetic languagee her realistic depiction of the plight of the female artist, and the difficulty of female friendships prove her to be a promising new voice in fiction.e

"[The Rest of Us] is a finely wrought story, insightfully detailing the anguish of intense love and the struggles of an aspiring artist."

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