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‘Those who live in the walls must adjust, must twist themselves around in their home, stretching themselves until they’re as thin as air. Not everyone can do what they can. But soon enough, they can’t help themselves. Signs of their presence remain in a house. Eventually, every hidden thing is found.’


About the book

Elise knows every inch of the house. She knows which boards will creak. She knows where the gaps are in the walls. She knows which parts can take her in, hide her away. It’s home, after all. The home her parents made for her. And home is where you stay, no matter what.

Eddie calls the same house his home. Eddie is almost a teenager now. He must no longer believe in the girl he sometimes sees from the corner of his eye. He needs her to disappear. But when his older brother senses her, too, they are faced with a question: how do they get rid of someone they aren’t sure even exists?

And, if they cast her out, what other threats might they invite in?

Read a sample chapter of Girl in the Walls


About the author

A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, AJ Gnuse received an MFA in fiction from UNC Wilmington and was a 2018 Kenyon Review Summer Workshop Peter Taylor fellow. His short stories have been published, or are forthcoming, in Guernica, The Los Angeles Review, New South, Passages North, The Potomac Review and The Wisconsin Review, amongst other publications. Girl in the Walls is his first novel.

For more information see website.


Advance praise

“Clear your calendar. Once you start reading Girl in the Walls, you won’t want to do anything else. Read it first for the thrill ride. Then read it a second time, slowly, to savor language that drips and swells with the terrifying beauty of a Gulf Coast hurricane. A riveting, astonishing, and flat-out gorgeous debut.”
Nina de Gramont, author of The Last September and The Mystery Writer

“Ever been deep underwater, holding your breath, wondering if you will make it to the surface? OK. Remember that famous scene in the movie, Wait Until Dark? Remember that feeling while reading The Tell-Tale Heart? Remember the evil character in the movie No Country For Old Men? Remember the most terrifying nightmare you’ve ever had? OK, so now: Here’s your book, Girl in the Walls, by A. J. Gnuse. It’s really scary, and literary to boot, going way down deep, and way up high. Gnuse’s first novel says that he is the real thing, out of the gate. May the race be long, with many more novels. But he will be hard-pressed to out-do Girl in the Walls.”
Clyde Edgerton, author of The Night Train and Killer Diller

“Gnuse’s debut is bold and compelling, subtle and sublime, with writing so good that you’re torn between racing ahead and lingering. I found myself holding my breath and never wanting to leave, despite the darkness. A uniquely gothic tale about grief, belonging and hiding in plain sight.”
Jess Kidd, author of Things in Jars and Himself

Girl in the Walls is as much about willful Elise, who haunts her childhood home after losing her parents, as it is about the two boys who are afraid of her. Gnuse deftly explores the challenge of boyhood, the cost of appearing brave–of ‘manning up’.”
Maria Reva, author of Good Citizens Need Not Fear

“Gnuse is a writer of vision, who builds up his novel like the most exquisite music box. It plays out perfectly, and will leave you entranced long after its covers are closed.”
Ali Shaw, author of The Trees and The Girl with the Glass Feet


Advance reading copy giveaway

We have 10 advance reading copies of Girl in the Walls to giveaway!
Please email your request to




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Acting editor, Daily
Matthia Dempsey

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Anthea Yang

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