Jessi Jezewska Stevens

Ghost Pains

With her novels The Exhibition of Persephone Q and The Visitors, Jessi Jezewska Stevens has proven herself as our preeminent purveyor of comical, techno-millenarian unease. Now, with this first collection of her acclaimed short fiction – originally appearing in such venues as The Paris Review, Harper’s and Tin House – some of her very best work is at last readily available to readers.

Stevens’s women throw disastrous parties in the post-party era, flirt through landscapes of terror and war, and find themselves unrecognisable after waking up with old flames in new cities. They navigate the labyrinths of history, love, and ethics in a fractured American present, seeing first-hand how history influences the ways in which we care for – or neglect – one another.

With each story exemplifying Stevens’s ability to examine the big questions through the microscope of a shambolic human perspective, Ghost Pains is a triumphant statement of purpose from one of our greatest young writer-thinkers.

Paperback: £14.99
EBook: £11.99

More Info

  • Jessi Jezewska Stevens spoke to The Creative Independent about her writing – you can read the interview here.
  • You can read Jessi Jezewska Stevens’ short story ‘Rumpel’ in The Baffler.
  • A discussion between Jessi Jezewska Stevens and Joshua Cohen about The Visitors is available to watch on Third Place Books’ YouTube channel, here.
Print status: Pre-order
Original language: English
Format: B format paperback with flaps
Publication date: 5 March 2024
ISBN: 9781913505844
Ebook ISBN: 9781913505851
Availability: World English
Number of pages: 304


Praise for The Visitors

‘It’s as if The Big Short were set in the dreamworld of Rachel Ingalls's Mrs. Caliban . . .’ Audrey Wollen, New York Times

The Visitors addresses it subjects through a dance of symbols and signifiers.’ Wall Street Journal

‘[A] mordantly funny requiem for the early 21st century . . . The odd touch of magic does nothing to diminish the story’s uneasy relevance to the contemporary state of affairs. Fans of such paranoia masters as DeLillo and Pynchon should give this a look.’ Publishers Weekly

The Visitors is a slim book with a lot going on. . . The book accepts, and even delights in, the strenuous absurdity of its characters’ efforts to index the relationship between the virtual and the material, or to locate the source of reality in imagination.’ Daisy Hildyard, The Guardian

The Visitors is conceptually bold. Stevens threads through needles of political theory so deftly you barely feel them piercing the brain. Her work calmly suggests this: the apocalypse is coming for us all, baby – so, what are you doing about it?’ Annie Hayter, The Big Issue

‘It’s both a bold, imaginative play on very recent history and a trenchant prophecy of the terrifying times we’re collectively staring down the barrel of.’ Anna Cafolla, The Face Summer Reads 2022

Authors love The Visitors

‘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.’ Andrew Martin

‘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.’ Michael Zapata

‘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.’ Jakob Guanzon

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.’ Adam Wilson

‘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.’ Benjamin Nugent

‘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.’ Rivka Galchen

‘An orgy of synaptic firing and flourish, The Visitors is a novel of longing, lostness, and late capitalism told with roving imagination and warmth.’ Tracy O’Neill

Booksellers love The Visitors

‘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.’ Josie Smith, Greenlight Bookstore

‘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.’ Lori Feathers, Interabang 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.’ Doug Riggs, Bank Square Books