Jessi Jezewska Stevens is the author of The Visitors and The Exhibition of Persephone Q. Her stories and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The Nation, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, The Paris Review, Tin House, and elsewhere. She holds a BA in Mathematics from Middlebury College and an MFA from Columbia University. She lives in New York and Geneva.
Image copyright Nina Subin.
‘Jessi Jezewska Stevens’s frighteningly brilliant new novel The Visitors is both a bold reimagining of the recent past and an all-too-likely prophecy of what's to come. Caustic, intimate, and consistently surprising, this novel cements Stevens’s place as one of the great chroniclers of our cruel and terrifying times.’
‘In Jessi Jezewska Stevens’ timeless novel, The Visitors, nothing is as it seems, everything is in motion, and progress and decay are simultaneous. Amidst credit scores and talking spectres, revolutionary impulses and the indissoluble truths found in a lifelong friendship, Stevens paints a brilliant and richly captivating portrait of an artist teetering between her own past and an American collapse happening in real time. Stevens’ intimacy with history borders on the telepathic. The Visitors is transcendent and astounding in every way.’
‘Jessi Jezewksa Stevens' scalpel-fine prose – slicing with wit and pathos – belies the bewildering scope of The Visitors, which lays bare everything from the audacity of modern finance to the visceral costs of debt, love, and success. Yet while collapse looms nigh, every page beams with defiant jubilance and gut-punch insights. Equal parts revelatory and moving, The Visitors cuts to the core of the delusion and disillusionment of our era.’
‘The Visitors is such a unique gem of a novel—an intimate and affecting character study that is somehow also a DeLillo-esque container for diamond-sharp insights into big data, eco-terrorism, and the subprime mortgage crisis—that, like the garden gnome who haunts its protagonist, I’m half-convinced it couldn’t possibly exist. But it does, and it is dazzling, and Stevens' readers are incredibly lucky to have it.’
‘This book is a speedball, with lines as beautifully sad and weary as John Berryman's lines, and a premise as wild and lit as one of Philip K. Dick's premises. Stevens is a writer who makes you want to slow down and read each sentence carefully, even as you want to race forward and see what happens.’
‘One of my favorite writers has written another imaginative and attentive marvel. The Visitors is about business: the business of staying alive, the business of being with others, the business of staying sane, and the business of business.’
‘An orgy of synaptic firing and flourish, The Visitors is a novel of longing, lostness, and late capitalism told with roving imagination and warmth.’
Josie Smith, Greenlight Bookstore
‘Jessi Jezewska Stevens has created a parallel timeline as tumultuous and dread-inducing as our own, yet somehow this distorted reality reveals more about the preoccupations of existing than it's lived counterpart ever could. Part time capsule, part user manual, and part hallucinatory malware, The Visitors will still be with you long after the lights have gone out.’
Bank Square Books
‘Stevens' writing is vicious and cerebral, an enthralling combination. she has a lovely knack of hinting and alluding to goings-on elsewhere (the best kind of narration, imho). a cynical sophomore novel that deserves all the praise it will no doubt receive.’
‘What would you do if an interrogating gnome appeared in your apartment one morning and never left? If you are C, the artist-protagonist of Jessi Jezewska Stevens’ enthralling novel, The Visitors, you constantly question whether your gnome is real or imagined, all while operating a NYC art supply store, mourning the end of your marriage and your fertility, hiding from personal bankruptcy, and longing for a romantic relationship with your oldest friend, Zo. Apart from C’s personal troubles, a terrorist group called GoodNite is destroying city power grids and staging protests around the world. Stevens fully immerses readers into C’s world, exploring the artist’s relationship to her craft, how loneliness exploits our deepest fears and vulnerabilities, the affection and jealousy between childhood girlfriends, and the permanent scar of immigrant trauma. A clever, thought-provoking novel that is as surprising as it is satisfying.’