Ghost Pains

And Other Stories
Forthcoming March 5, 2024 (UK & US)

Preorder here.

* One of LitHub, and i-D’s most anticipated books of 2024 *

From the publisher: “With her novels The Exhibition of Persephone Q and The Visitors, Jessi Jezewska Stevens has proven herself as our preeminent purveyor of comical, techno-millenarian unease. Now, with this first collection of her acclaimed short fiction – originally appearing in such venues as The Paris ReviewHarper’s and Tin House – some of her very best work is at last readily available to readers.

Stevens’s women throw disastrous parties in the post-party era, flirt through landscapes of terror and war, and find themselves unrecognisable after waking up with old flames in new cities. They navigate the labyrinths of history, love, and ethics in a fractured American present, seeing first-hand how history influences the ways in which we care for – or neglect – one another.

With each story exemplifying Stevens’s ability to examine the big questions through the microscope of a shambolic human perspective, Ghost Pains is a triumphant statement of purpose from one of our greatest young writer-thinkers.”


Praise for The Visitors:

“Elements of the novel recall the work of such 20th-century greats as DeLillo or Sebald, but Stevens’ voice—which is meticulous, wide ranging, and moored in a different perspective from the 20th century’s predominantly white male hegemonies—makes her work particularly suited for the current century’s artistic needs. Ambitious and powerful—a remarkable novel.” — Kirkus (starred review ⭐️)

This book is a speedball, with a premise as wild and lit as one of Philip K. Dick’s. Stevens is a writer who makes you want to slow down and read each sentence carefully, even as you want to race forward and see what happens. — Benjamin Nugent

One of my favorite writers has written another imaginative and attentive marvel. The Visitors is about business: the business of staying alive, the business of being with others, the business of staying sane, and the business of business. — Rivka Galchen

As if The Big Short were set in the dreamworld of Rachel Ingalls’s Mrs. Caliban. — The New York Times

[A]s its semi-fictional world frays at every edge, we stay close with C., a deeply written character who could be any of us: beset by the stresses of debt, anxious about decisions made and decisions to come, yet filled with all the rich longing, desire, and tenderness that renews our humanity, even at the worst of times. — LitHub, ’35 Novels You Need to Read This Summer’

It’s both a bold, imaginative play on very recent history and a trenchant prophecy of the terrifying times we’re collectively staring down the barrel of. The Face, ‘Summer Reads 2022’

Here is a refreshing novel by an author willing to take chances…The Visitors stands as a pensive and important work…rare and exciting company. — Necessary Fiction


Praise for Persephone Q:

The Exhibition of Persephone Q is a great millennial ghost story, in which a wry, wise, yet guileless heroine is haunted by all the other stories she could be living. Jessi Stevens is the Muriel Spark of 21st century New York.  Joshua Cohen, author of The Netanyahus

A triumph of tone and intelligence. Percy Q’s perspective is skewed and searching at once, and through her eyes, we see afresh not only New York’s post-9/11 landscape but also the world of art, and love, and the process of becoming. —Rivka Galchen, author of Atmospheric Disturbances

Stevens has combined the surreal with the actual to create a book painfully relevant to this new age of female testimony . . . A fantastic debut.— Noelle McManus, Women’s Review of Books

I was magnetized not just by a great story, but one that felt uncannily timely…Percy is forced to confront questions of identity and selfhood that feel both poignant and meta during a time of crisis. — Michael Barron, LitHub

Stevens’ dreamlike first novel is a delicate and drifting exploration of Percy’s relationships with friends, lovers, neighbors, and the many not-quite strangers who form the fabric of city life. As Percy wanders, New York itself is reflected through the prism of her many identities . . . in luminous prose that captures the essence of a place in the middle of its most defining transformation. A stellar debut.  Kirkus Reviews (starred)