The Center for Fiction was thrilled to welcome Emerging Writer Fellowship alum Alanna Schubach to our stage in celebration of her debut novel, The Nobodies. Exploring themes of friendship and enmeshment, Schubach probes at the darker underbelly of the deep and abiding closeness of female connection. The Nobodies is a 21st century, A24-ified “Freaky Friday.” In the book, best friends Jess and Nina have a massive secret. Whenever they touch their foreheads together, they can switch bodies, finding solace from their own problems in each other’s worlds. After a long separation, the friends are reunited around the death of Jess’s father, and their worlds begin to mesh once more, losing themselves in the process.
Schubach joined author Katherine Hill for a raw and honest investigation of intimacy, betrayal, and the deep and abiding closeness of female friendship.
By Alanna Schubach
Published by Blackstone
Jess and Nina, Nina and Jess . . . to everyone else they’re typical best friends, sharing closeness and confidences in their own little world. But Nina and Jess have a secret. Simply by touching their foreheads together, they can swap bodies.
In Jess’s assertive persona, self-conscious Nina turns bolder, free to say what she’s frightened to voice on her own. Inhabiting Nina, Jess becomes part of the loving, stable family she craves.
Now, in crisis after her father’s death, Jess has reentered Nina’s life following a long separation. Once again they switch bodies, and their worlds begin to mesh. Each deceives the other, confesses, is forgiven. But how deeply can you sink into another’s life before there’s nothing left of you? Set against the vibrant backdrop of New York City, The Nobodies poses questions about the nature of intimacy, the many flavors of betrayal, and the value of female friendships.
Alanna Schubach’s debut novel, The Nobodies, will be published by Blackstone in June. Her fiction has appeared in Shenandoah, the Sewanee Review, the Massachusetts Review, Electric Literature, and more. She was an Emerging Writer Fellow with The Center for Fiction, a Fellow in Fiction with the New York Foundation for the Arts, and a MacDowell fellow. She earned an MFA in fiction from Sarah Lawrence College. She lives in New York, where she works as a freelance journalist and writing teacher.
Photo Credit: Zoe Fisher
Katherine Hill is the author of two novels, The Violet Hour and A Short Move, which was a New York Times Editors’ Choice. With Sarah Chihaya, Merve Emre, and Jill Richards, she is also co-author of The Ferrante Letters: An Experiment in Collective Criticism. Her fiction, essays, and reviews have appeared in numerous publications, including the Common, the Guardian, n+1, the Nation, the New Republic, and the New York Times. She is Assistant Professor of English at Adelphi University.
Photo Credit: Zoe Fisher