"I met Meredith in the museum one disastrous Saturday afternoon, after an accident in the emerging artists wing during the carnival show... "


Behind the glass windows of a storefront-turned-apartment, an art handler at a contemporary art museum sits among dead birds awaiting the return of her roommate, an emerging artist of growing notoriety. While she waits, she ransacks her past while discoursing on Dutch still life painting, the mating habits of her species and others, and the extreme measures taken by the French psychoanalyst Marie Bonaparte to achieve sexual fulfillment.

This audacious burning match of a novella marks the debut of a writer of uncommon insight, boundless curiosity and mordant wit, whose jaundiced eye takes on the comic excesses of contemporary art and the multifariousness of bad sex in equal measure. Masterful in its breadth—at once funny, shocking and erudite—Still Life with Meredith contemplates the thin line that separates sanity from madness in a world that has a hard time telling the difference.


"The most decadently imaginative thing I’ve read in years”
"Take the afternoon off and marvel at this new shape for narrative”


Advance praise

“Hovering somewhere between Nell Zink and David Markson, Still Life with Meredith is an arrow pulled back in the bow. It’s as funny as it is sinister, filled up with facts that stretch the fiction beyond recognition. Take the afternoon off and marvel at this new shape for narrative.”
- Jac Jemc, author of False Bingo and The Grip of It

“If Tom Robbins and Dostoyevsky had a art feminist historian baby who suckled esoterica from an ancient wet nurse sorceress, she’d probably sound a lot like the narrator of Still Life with Meredith. Part curio cabinet, part macabre romp, this is a story about spectacle, pleasure, friendship, and the body that gets all the way under the skin. Lewinson is an electric new voice whose prose cuts like a scalpel.”
- Kristen Iskandrian, author of Motherest

Still Life with Meredith is a guided tour of a museum of perverse fascinations: wandering clitorises, divine foreskins, animal abuse, and the princess/psychoanalyst Marie Bonaparte. It’s funny and fearlessly weird, with moments of jarring profundity and long stretches of delicious brilliance. Lewinson is a more profane and pitiless Renata Adler, and her novella is the most decadently imaginative thing I’ve read in years.”
- Sandra Newman, author of The Heavens and The Country of Ice Cream Star

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Ann Lewinson’s fiction has appeared in Agni, Hayden’s Ferry Review, MoMA PS1’s Special Projects Writers’ Series and other places. A 2014 fellow at the Edward F. Albee Foundation, she is also a playwright, journalist and film critic who has reviewed movies for ARTnews, The Boston Phoenix, The Hartford Advocate and The Kansas City Star. She lives in New York.


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Still Life with Meredith
Ann Lewinson
102 pages
$10.00 paperback ISBN 9781944853693
$5.00 ebook
April 2020



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