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About The Book

From the author of FOE, now a major motion picture starring Saoirse Ronan and Paul Mescal

Penny, an artist, has lived in the same apartment for decades, surrounded by the artifacts and keepsakes of her long life. She is resigned to the mundane rituals of old age, until things start to slip. Before her longtime partner passed away years earlier, provisions were made, unbeknownst to her, for a room in a unique long-term care residence, where Penny finds herself after one too many “incidents.”

Initially, surrounded by peers, conversing, eating, sleeping, looking out at the beautiful woods that surround the house, all is well. She even begins to paint again. But as the days start to blur together, Penny – with a growing sense of unrest and distrust – starts to lose her grip on the passage of time and on her place in the world. Is she succumbing to the subtly destructive effects of aging, or is she an unknowing participant in something more unsettling?

At once compassionate and uncanny, told in spare, hypnotic prose, Iain Reid’s genre-defying third novel explores questions of conformity, art, productivity, relationships, and what, ultimately, it means to grow old.

‘I loved this book and couldn't put it down – a deeply gripping, surreal and wonderfully mysterious novel. Not only has Reid given us a brilliant page turner, but a profoundly moving meditation on life and art, death and infinity. Reid is a master’ Mona Awad, author 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl and All's Well

About The Author

Photograph by AJR

Iain Reid is the author of four previous books, including his New York Times bestselling debut novel I’m Thinking of Ending Things, which has been translated into more than twenty languages. Oscar winner Charlie Kaufman wrote and directed the film adaptation for Netflix. His second novel, Foe, is being adapted for film, starring Saoirse Ronan, with Reid cowriting the screenplay. His latest novel is We Spread. Reid lives in Ontario, Canada. Follow him on Twitter @Reid_Iain.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Scribner UK (September 14, 2023)
  • Length: 304 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781398504165

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Raves and Reviews

'Iain Reid’s We Spread is a taut and frightening read, perhaps best called a thriller. But the true thrill is in how so slender a book tackles such big questions—What does it mean to make art? What happens as we near death?—with such grace' Rumaan Alam

'In We Spread Iain Reid masterfully gets into the psyche of his characters and readers all at once. What a gift' Alma Har'el

'I loved this book and couldn't put it down--a deeply gripping, surreal and wonderfully mysterious novel. Not only has Reid given us a brilliant page turner, but a profoundly moving meditation on life and art, death and infinity. Reid is a master' Mona Awad

'With this latest hypnotic transmission, Reid delves into the strange substructures of psychology, where individual minds blur and a more undifferentiated kind of life teems. With tenderness and mastery, he offers us great insights on the nature of aging and the vertiginous experience of being human' Alexandra Kleeman

'As with all the finest weird fiction, We Spread is infinitely more than just a horror story. Its deceptively simple, deadpan delivery – like the ostensibly similar pieces of Hilbert’s Pando Puzzle – is a screen behind which a multiplicity of interpretations and possibilities, both horrific and mundane, lie cunningly concealed' Guardian

'Reid combines magnetic character development with clipped, eerie prose in this masterfully crafted psychological thriller that will keep the reader guessing until the very last word on the final page' Booklist

'[An] exquisite novel of psychological suspense . . . [Leaves] readers contemplating their own mortality and primed to see the sinister behind the mundane . . . This deep plunge into fears about growing old and losing control is unforgettable' Publishers Weekly

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