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The year is 1999, and thirteen-year-old Elliot is a self-appointed diet coach” who teaches her classmates how to survive on one stick of gum a day to get heroin-chic, Kate Moss thin. Elliot is obsessed with her best friend and former client” Lisa, who is fresh out of inpatient treatment and dating a nineteen-year-old drug dealer. Meanwhile, Elliot’s mother Anna, a capricious poetry professor, has a drug addiction and eating disorder of her own. When Lisa transfers her fixation from food to sex with her boyfriend, Elliot’s fragile grip on reality begins to falter, at the same that time that Anna’s fascination with the object of her own blind lust, the student who relinquishes his cocaine to her during office hours begins to consume her. I Must Have You is the story of what happens one three-day weekend in an explosion of desire, hunger, and lost innocence.
JoAnna Novak’s kaleidoscope of 1990s America, filled with vibrant imagery from riot grrl graffiti to Michael Jordan posters, offers a vision of the complexities of womanhood and the culture that keeps the modern girl sick. I Must Have You is a provocative debut of rare honesty from a daring new voice. Similar to the works of Miranda July, Novak’s novel will appeal to a new generation of readers who hunger for raw female protagonists.