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About The Book

Named a Book You Need to Read in 2021 by Harper’s Bazaar

A “moving, astounding, and totally unsettling” (Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author) literary debut following two patients in recovery after an experimental memory drug warps their lives.

Lucien moves to Los Angeles to be with his grandmother as she undergoes an experimental treatment for Alzheimer’s using the new drug, Memoroxin. An emerging photographer, he’s also running from the sudden death of his mother, a well-known artist whose legacy haunts him.

Sophie has just landed the lead in the upcoming performance of La Sylphide with the Los Angeles Ballet Company. She still waitresses at the Chateau Marmont during her off hours, witnessing the recreational use of Memoroxin—or Mem—among the Hollywood elite.

When Lucien and Sophie meet at The Center, founded by an ambitious yet conflicted doctor to treat patients who’ve abused Mem, they have no memory of how they got there—or why they feel so inexplicably drawn to each other. Is it attraction, or something they cannot remember from “before”?

“Contemplative and wonderfully evocative, finishing The Shimmering State is like waking from a dream, where you reenter the world with fresh eyes and wonder at the frailty of your own memories” (Jessica Chiarella, author of The Lost Girls).

About The Author

Photograph by Jac Martinez

Meredith Westgate grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. She is a graduate of Dartmouth College and holds an MFA in fiction from The New School. The Shimmering State is her first novel. Visit her at and on Instagram @MeredithWestgate.

About The Readers

Why We Love It

“Meredith Westgate’s prose strikes the right kind of balance when it comes to literary writing: it’s lush and dreamy, yet emotionally sharp and poignant. She uses speculative elements to examine memory as a commodity. Yet, interstitial, mundane scenes—sitting through L.A. traffic, entering mid-conversation at a party, hatefully waiting for your order of kale noodles—are also transformed into thought-provoking moments. I read Meredith’s examination of our obsession with “forever”—in social media and, in her world, in memory, and how we do the strangest things to maintain that lie, and I just think: Meredith gets it. She totally gets it.

Like the characters desperate to lose themselves in other people’s memories, you won’t want to leave The Shimmering State until you’ve run out of pages.”

—Loan L., Editor, on The Shimmering State

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio (August 10, 2021)
  • Runtime: 11 hours and 58 minutes
  • ISBN13: 9781797127774

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Raves and Reviews

"Westgate's debut novel explores memory as two characters recover from their misuse of Memoroxin, a new memory drug. The cast creates a shimmering world that explores the ethics of memory manipulation through the experiences of believable characters."

– AudioFile Magazine

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