Oliver A Lover All Over - novel by Maranda Elizabeth

Oliver A Lover All Over - novel by Maranda Elizabeth


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When their partner leaves them a week after their hysterectomy, Magenta becomes determined to resist suicidal despair by leaving the stale solitude of their downtown apartment, with a plan to ride every streetcar, bus, and subway line in Toronto. Instead, they ride back and forth along romanticized and mythical Queen Street, from Parkdale to The Beaches, from the first to final day of August. The city is heatwaves and thunderstorms, empty storefronts and chain businesses, suffering the paired crises of climate emergency and gentrification.

An unemployed writer turned sex worker, and compulsive consoler of the lonely, Magenta ruminates on the desires they feel ashamed of, on poetry and books and lyrics, and on their fear of being used as a muse, while Oliver, a comedy school dropout turned gardener who’s abandoned them to live on an isolated farm, struggles with existential ambivalence and his contradictory desire to build a life and a home in the forest vs. the city. As they ride the streetcar, Magenta becomes fixated on poverty and melancholy, mood-dependent behaviours, disability and remission, and literary clichés and lazy metaphors, obsessively documenting their thoughts and memories of a thirteen-month relationship.

A psychogeographical exploration of intimacy and betrayal, repetition compulsion, open relationships, empathy, therapy, and art, Oliver A Lover All Over is a work of present-tense stream-of-consciousness and self-consciousness, a novel in the form of a mix tape, a collage of the languages of autofiction, songs on late-night radio, journal entries, therapy sessions, and messages exchanged through online dating apps. In their third novel, Maranda Elizabeth employs lyrical experimentation to analyze perpetually lost, unestablished and anti-establishment, alienated thirty-somethings on the cusp of self-awareness.

Cover photo by Maranda Elizabeth
Book jacket and interior design by Caligula Caesar
323 pages, 85,000 words, 6x9

OLIVER A LOVER ALL OVER also has a mix tape soundtrack!
Listen & watch here: https://bit.ly/2YdqTGJ

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Maranda Elizabeth

Maranda Elizabeth

Toronto, Canada


5 out of 5 stars (1,300)