little scratch: A Novel (Hardcover)

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"I couldn't put it down...Reading little scratch has broken my heart and opened my mind."--Jenny Slate

In the formally innovative tradition of Grief Is the Thing with Feathers and Ducks, Newburyport comes a dazzlingly original, shot-in-the-arm of a debut that reveals a young woman's every thought over the course of one deceptively ordinary day.

She wakes up, goes to work. Watches the clock and checks her phone. But underneath this monotony there's something else going on: something under her skin.

Relayed in interweaving columns that chart the feedback loop of memory, the senses, and modern distractions with wit and precision, our narrator becomes increasingly anxious as the day moves on: Is she overusing the heart emoji? Isn't drinking eight glasses of water a day supposed to fix everything? Why is the etiquette of the women's bathroom so fraught? How does she define rape? And why can't she stop scratching?

Fiercely moving and slyly profound, little scratch is a defiantly playful look at how our minds function in--and survive--the darkest moments.

About the Author

Rebecca Watson writes for publications including the Financial Times, The Times Literary Supplement, and Granta. In 2018 she was short-listed for the White Review Short Story Prize. This is her debut novel.

Praise For…

"little scratch is a novel of such startling pulse, a pulse that ceaselessly, daringly beats its way through writing...I couldn't put it down, as they say, but really, I couldn't. Reading it has broken my heart and opened my mind. It is a daring display of experience that persists and persists and never loses its light."—Jenny Slate, New York Times bestselling author of Little Weirds

“I was immediately enveloped in the staccato of little scratch, which spun between wry, funny and heartbreaking. It captures beautifully a rhythm not just of trauma, but also of the small, defiant, everyday happinesses that push through and against it.” —Sophie Mackintosh, author of The Water Cure and Blue Ticket
"Rebecca Watson's little scratch is an immersive experience, an exhilarating plunge into the mundanity and the horror and the mundane horror of a day in a life that is not quite right. It's experimental in the best sense of the word: Watson bends form to accommodate a narrator who wants desperately to communicate but cannot quite bring herself to speak."—Miranda Popkey, author of Topics of Conversation

"An inventive, immersive debut... Watson’s clever convention and set pieces are not simply flourishes but integral to the plot and themes... A haunting, virtuosic performance."Publishers Weekly, *Starred Review*

"Formally daring and unique, the novel’s structure mirrors the ways the woman’s mind jumps from mundane moments to the life-changing ones."The Millions

"The unnamed narrator of this debut novel is an Everywoman...The physical form of the narrative reproduces the experience of the woman's scattered thoughts... which overlap, interrupt each other, merge, and battle in the saturated “now” of the book’s overwhelming immediacy. The result is an unusual reading experience which relates both the mundane and the revelatory...A daring book whose innovations are balanced by the sad familiarity of its pain."Kirkus Review

"Witty, defiant, tender… what a book!"—Olivia Sudjic, author of Sympathy and Exposure

"Reads like the cinders settling in the air after an explosion... daring and completely readable."—Colin Barrett, author of Young Skins

"Rebecca Watson's little scratch voraciously captures our life... Watson uses language with a sniper's precision to target and capture the million little re-calibrations of the self that a young woman has to undertake in order to go from one day to the next. . . It is a story that is urgent. It is a story that needs to be told."—Meena Kandasamy, author of When I Hit You

"Confident and vital. . . little scratch is an absolute gift."—Naoise Dolan, author of Exciting Times

Product Details
ISBN: 9780385545761
ISBN-10: 0385545762
Publisher: Doubleday
Publication Date: August 11th, 2020
Pages: 224