Back in the Land of the Living by Eva Crocker

Back in the Land of the Living is Crocker’s third novel and has her signature detailed prose on every page. In Back in the Land of the Living, we meet Marcy, a young queer woman who moves to Montreal from Newfoundland after thinking she has screwed up her life beyond repair. This novel feels like a meditation on growing up and moving on to find out who you are. The paths you could take or not take, the decisions you make without really thinking and the community you try to find. It often feels dark and hopeless but as someone who often has left home and felt like I had to leave to truly know who I was, it is certainly relatable. Crocker captures this odd time we are living in with ease, with capitalism, loneliness and the climate crisis. 

As Marcy is trying to find her way in the big city, the Covid-19 pandemic hits and she finds herself isolated with her charismatic but troubled and hot-tempered girlfriend, days passing without difference, that strange time in our lives. I still find the Covid-19 pandemic an odd thing to read and reflect about, in its state of still sort of being here and the strange lockdown time not too far behind us. 

This is a book that perfectly grasps what it is like to be in your 20s, seeking community, unsure of which way to turn. Marcy grows into herself slowly, learning to make better choices as she inches her way along. Nothing much happens, there is no big moment, but rather a well-crafted story of the weightless tossing that life sometimes feels like when you are trying to contemplate what kind of person you should even be. 

EVA CROCKER grew up in Ktaqamkuk (Newfoundland) and currently resides in Tiohti:áke (Montreal). Her debut novel All I Ask was longlisted for the 2020 Giller Prize and won the 2020 BMO Winterset Award. Her short story collection Barreling Forward was shortlisted for the Dayne Ogilvie Prize for Emerging LGBTQS2 Writers and won the Alistair MacLeod Award for Short Fiction and the CAA Emerging Author’s Award. She is a PhD student in Concordia University’s Interdisciplinary Humanities program.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ House of Anansi Press (Aug. 22 2023)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1487009771
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1487009779