Our Last Year

Alan Rossi

TJ Books (Printer)




ISBN: 9781913513269


Publication date: 19 September 2022



Our Last Year is a book about change, transformation and metamorphosis; through the internal narration of its two characters, the novel follows the disintegration and renewal of a marriage, in synthesis with a much wider natural reality. It tells a story of damage and destruction, both painful and restorative, and necessary for change. The trajectory of the novel – of becoming part of the planetary process, awake to it, enlivened by it, compassionate towards it – is dramatised through two minds, with an honesty and openness that urges us to contemplate our relationships with others and with our environment.

By engaging with the thought processes of its characters, Our Last Year examines human nature and selfhood with an unrelenting gaze, asking us to reconsider our understanding of our own consciousness – how it controls us, and how it might become a source of invention, creativity and connection.

‘A deep but unaffected book about learning how to listen – to a cicada, or to an oncoming storm, or to the person sitting right next to you. It’s also a full-on story of a relationship crisis which made me laugh, cringe, and think.’ – Daisy Hildyard

‘Relentlessly brilliant, terribly sad and ultimately miraculous.’ – Simon Amstell

‘Alan Rossi’s new novel, Our Last Year, cross-questions in illuminating detail the heart of a marriage using a stunning minute-by-minute narrative that brilliantly catches the complexity, detail, and organic nature of thought. It is a superb performance, providing the reader with a spellbinding and generous autopsy of two complex and passionate characters.’ – Frederick Barthelme

‘Reading Our Last Year, I felt in the hands of some great, luminous, intelligent curiosity. I loved how exacting the prose was, but also how fluid. I loved the way it flows through the caverns of the protagonists’ minds, daringly deep into those caverns. It seemed to me that if Virginia Woolf and David Foster Wallace sat down to write a book together they might come up with something not too dissimilar to this.’ – Samantha Harvey

‘A lucid and refreshingly uplifting masterpiece about a fraught period in the life of a married couple, Our Last Year surprised and moved and entranced me, calming and healing me with its wisdom and perspectives.’ – Tao Lin

‘This novel’s prose acts as an undertow with readers pulled deeper and deeper into the lives of the couple who narrate their relationship’s unraveling and restiching. The prose delivers surprise after surprise. The narration shows such compassion for the characters and such surgical precision in the taking apart and putting back together of their lives. I’ve never read a relationship novel quite like this one. I can’t recommend it more highly.’ – Toni Jensen, author of Carry: A Memoir of Survival on Stolen Land

Alan Rossi’s fiction has appeared in Granta, The Missouri Review, The New England Review, and many other journals. His novella Did You Really Just Say That To Me? was awarded the third annual New England Review Award for Emerging Writers. His fiction has also won a Pushcart Prize and an O. Henry Prize. His first novel, Mountain Road, Late at Night, was published by Picador in 2020.