The Afterlives (Hardcover)
January 2018 Indie Next List
“In The Afterlives, Thomas Pierce follows a man's quest for what comes after death. The story skillfully intersects religion, technology, philosophy, humor, love, and fear, but love and fear are what really got to me. The novel celebrates the love we're born into with our family and the love we find, but behind that is the fear of its loss. The novel doesn't flinch. Pierce's characters are so natural and so funny that at times it felt like I was reading Douglas Coupland or Elan Mastai. The Afterlives didn't feel bleak or hopeless or preachy - it was sincere and hopeful.”
— Myles Mickle, Village Square Booksellers, Bellows Falls, VT
"Ridiculously good" (The New York Times) author Thomas Pierce's debut novel is a funny, poignant love story that answers the question: What happens after we die? (Lots of stuff, it turns out). Jim Byrd died. Technically. For a few minutes. The diagnosis: heart attack at age thirty. Revived with no memory of any tunnels, lights, or angels, Jim wonders what--if anything--awaits us on the other side. Then a ghost shows up. Maybe. Jim and his new wife, Annie, find themselves tangling with holograms, psychics, messages from the beyond, and a machine that connects the living and the dead. As Jim and Annie journey through history and fumble through faith, they confront the specter of loss that looms for anyone who dares to fall in love. Funny, fiercely original, and gracefully moving, The Afterlives will haunt you. In a good way.
About the Author
Thomas Pierce was born and raised in South Carolina. He is the author of the forthcoming novel, The Afterlives, and the acclaimed story collection, Hall of Small Mammals. His stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Oxford American, and elsewhere. A recipient of the National Book Foundation's 5 Under 35 Award, he is a graduate of the University of Virginia creative writing program and lives in Virginia with his wife and daughters.