Fri 26 Jun 2009 - Filed under: Authors
A couple of years after seeing Patti Smith perform, Elizabeth Hand flunked out of college and became involved in the nascent punk scenes in DC and NYC. From 1979 to 1986 she worked at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air & Space Museum; she was eventually readmitted to university to study cultural anthropology, and received her B.A.
She is the author of many novels, including Winterlong, Waking the Moon (Tiptree and Mythopoeic Award-Winner), Glimmering, and Mortal Love, and three collections of stories, including the recent Saffron and Brimstone.
Her fiction has received the Nebula, World Fantasy, Mythopeoic, Tiptree, and International Horror Guild Awards, and her novels have been chose as New York Times and Washington Post Notable Books. She has also been awarded a Maine Arts Commission Fellowship.
A regular contributor to the Washington Post Book World and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Hand lives with her family on the Maine Coast.
Elizabeth Hand is represented by the Martha Millard Literary Agency.
Author photo © Norm Walters.
Download author photo for print.
Reviews + Quotes for Generation Loss
“Thirty years ago, Cassandra Neary’s grim photos of punks and corpses briefly made her the toast of the downtown art scene. Now an alcoholic wage slave, Neary accepts a magazine assignment to interview one of her reclusive photographer heroes on a Maine island, where a rash of missing-teenager cases and an off-kilter populace grab her attention. It takes time to warm to the self-destructive, sour-tempered protagonist –she drives drunk, pops Adderall and Percocet, and generally tries to not stick out her neck. Luckily, Hand’s terse but transporting prose keeps the reader turning pages until Neary’s gritty charm does, finally, shine through.” (B)
— Entertainment Weekly
“Although Generation Loss moves like a thriller, it detonates with greater resound.”
— Graham Joyce, Washington Post Book World
“This novel disturbs like Cass’s photos of dead junkies and squalid club scenes. While in some ways she’s just another self-destructive person, Cass’s intelligence and talent make her an appealing mess. Hand propels this oddly appealing character through an old-fashioned mystery-thriller with stirring results. In the end, Generation Loss is a conventional story of sin and redemption. With darkly inventive polish, Hand reveals a character so deeply disordered, she’s both unlikable and compelling.”
—Time Out Chicago
“Cass is a marvel, someone with whom we take the difficult journey toward delayed adulthood, wishing her encouragement despite grave odds.”
— Los Angeles Times
“This smart, dark, literary thriller will keep you up at night. A photographer who has been drinking, doing drugs, and alienating everyone around her since the ’70s goes to Maine to interview a legendary photographer and gets caught up in the case of a missing girl.”
— Megan Sullivan’s Pick of the Week at the Boston Globe
“This long-awaited fantasy novel brings an end to the critically acclaimed Aegypt quartet that takes ‘the vast jigsaw that Crowley has assembled in the first three books – and places them in a picture that’s open, smiling, filled with possibility….gracefully written, beautifully characterized, moving, and thought-provoking…. [Graham Sleight]'”
— Locus Notable Books
“Just as lives that are only momentarily brilliant deserve celebration and respect, though, so do such novels, because life is dark enough that we need whatever illumination we can get, and there’s plenty to be had in Generation Loss.”
— Strange Horizons
“A formerly famous punk photographer attracted to the dead and damaged stumbles on a serial killer case when she takes a job inteviewing a famous reclusive photographer in this dark thriller of art and damaged souls, and despite only a hint of the supernatural, ‘…something of a departure for the author, but fully as elegant and significant as her overtly fantastic works. There is grave beauty her, and great thematic power.’ [Nick Gevers]”
— Valley Advocate
“Hand (Mortal Love, Black Light) expertly ratchets up the suspense until it’s at the level of a high-pitched scream near novel’s end.”
— Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
* “Hand (Mortal Love) explores the narrow boundary between artistic genius and madness in this gritty, profoundly unsettling literary thriller.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Ægypt is a metamorphosis, a metensomatosis, a memory play and a meta-novel; a story about many stories, a book with a larger book inside it. The further in you go, the bigger it gets.”
— Elizabeth Hand, F&SF
“Cass Neary, Elizabeth Hand’s unlikely heroine in her latest novel Generation Loss, may be hard to like, but I found her story is easy to love.”
— Feminist Review
“A dark, literate mystery that’s easy to appreciate and hard to put down.”
— The Olympian
“The novel crackles with energy: it is alive.”
— Nicholas Rombes, (The Ramones and New Punk Cinema)
“Intense and atmospheric, Generation Loss is an inventive brew of postpunk attitude and dark mystery. Elizabeth Hand writes with craftsmanship and passion.”
— George Pelecanos
“Lucid and beautifully rendered. Great, unforgiving wilderness, a vanished teenager, an excellent villain, and an obsession with art that shades into death: what else do you need? An excellent book.”
— Brian Evenson, The Open Curtain
Praise for Elizabeth Hand’s previous novels:
” A literary page-turner . . . deeply pleasurable. . . . A delightful waking dream.”
— People (****)
“One of the most sheerly impressive, not to mention overwhelmingly beautiful books I have read in a long time.”
*”[Hand’s] language has an incantatory beauty.”
— Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)