In this literary debut, teenager Sean Phillips is isolated by a horrific injury that left him disfigured. He seeks solace in creating new worlds and his latest creation, “Trace Italian”—a text-based, role-playing game played through the mail—lands two other teenagers in trouble. In an attempt to fix things, Sean is pulled back through time, tracing back toward the moment of his own self-inflicted departure from the world in which most people live.
It’s an October 2014 Indie Next selection, was named one of “Three Big Novels of the Month” by GQ Magazine (September issue), and Darnielle was interviewed by the New York Times Book Review, and NPR’s “Weekend Edition” AND “Fresh Air.” Plus, there are all those glowing reviews:
“WOLF is about the way storytelling can deliver you, though not always save you, from the blistering, profound pain of adolescence–or just existence. In Darnielle’s novel, as in his songs, the monstrously true and unbelievably beautiful press up against one another. Together, they begin to dance.” — NPR
“WOLF IN WHITE VAN explains its whole premise in the first few pages—and then spends the rest of the book retelling it again and again, moving the reader toward one particular moment, one particular scene, that changed protagonist Sean Phillips’ life. The result is a journey of always knowing and always discovering—a tricky proposition for any writer, an incredible feat for a debut novelist.” — The AV Club, “A” review
More praise for WOLF IN WHITE VAN:
“A pop culture-infused novel that thoughtfully and nonjudgmentally considers the dark side of nerddom.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Beautifully written psychological fiction for sophisticated readers, with not much else like it out there.” — Library Journal
“In his incantatory debut, Darnielle captures the allure and danger of being in thrall to a mythic vision. Through it all the Trace looms, a monumental symbol for a supple novel.” — Publishers Weekly