A novel by Crystal Jo Reiss
It’s time to revisit Jane’s story. It’s time to examine what it means to be everywhere.
In this quasi-allegorical novel about the search for refuge in one’s own country, everywhere begins in the mid-1990s, after a phone call nukes Jane’s world, dropping news that her boyfriend has lost his ear-and just about every other appendage worth mentioning-while driving home one evening. Barely able to breathe in a hospital cafeteria, Jane deserts her boyfriend and his father, eventually fleeing her life in New York to follow a best friend to Seattle. As she struggles to keep a job, subsisting on bagged lettuce and Shredded Wheat, butting heads with her best friend and an ever-growing list of roommates, Jane flip-flops from coast to coast, blundering into characters like “The Avatar” who summons her to Windows on the World, the glass blower who throws her out of bed, the pavement contractor who gives her a Garuda charm and rigs his Las Vegas house with daggers, and the tech billionaire who seems to follow her everywhere. And then there’s Jane’s mom, Nora Lovins, who barely cobbles together payments for her overcrowded but rent-stabilized apartment.
During the twenty years depicted in the book, Jane’s “reverse migration” becomes a search for stability and roots that leaves her questioning her ability to choose well. Part adventure, part satire, part sociological drama, Jane Is Everywhere explores how a person enmeshed in grief during a time of lattes, laptops, and unanswered phone calls migrates towards an idealized world. Ultimately, the novel looks at the nature of growing up into a “web”—both the World Wide Web and the more ephemeral web that is spun by the mind.
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