All-Night Pharmacy: A Novel (Hardcover)

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All-Night Pharmacy: A Novel By Ruth Madievsky Cover Image

All-Night Pharmacy: A Novel (Hardcover)


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Rachel Kushner meets David Lynch in this fever dream of an LA novel about a young woman who commits a drunken act of violence just before her sister vanishes without a trace

On the night of her high school graduation, a young woman follows her older sister Debbie to Salvation, a Los Angeles bar patronized by energy healers, aspiring actors, and all-around misfits. After the two share a bag of unidentified pills, the evening turns into a haze of sensual and risky interactions—nothing unusual for two sisters bound in an incredibly toxic relationship. Our unnamed narrator has always been under the spell of the alluring and rebellious Debbie and, despite her own hesitations, she has always said yes to nights like these. That is, until Debbie disappears.

Falling deeper into the life she cultivated with her sister, our narrator gets a job as an emergency room secretary where she steals pills to sell on the side. Cue Sasha, a Jewish refugee from the former Soviet Union who arrives at the hospital claiming to be a psychic tasked with acting as the narrator’s spiritual guide. The nature of this relationship evolves and blurs, a kaleidoscope of friendship, sex, mysticism, and ambiguous power dynamics.

With prose pulsing like a neon sign, Ruth Madievsky’s All-Night Pharmacy is an intoxicating portrait of a young woman consumed with unease over how a person should be. As she attempts sobriety and sexual embodiment, she must decide whether to search for her estranged sister, or allow her to remain a relic of the past.
Ruth Madievsky is the author of a bestselling poetry collection, Emergency Brake (Tavern Books, 2016). Her work appears in Harper’s Bazaar, Guernica, Literary Hub, Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. She is a founding member of the Cheburashka Collective, a community of women and nonbinary writers from the former Soviet Union. Originally from Moldova, she lives in Los Angeles, where she works as an HIV and primary care pharmacist.
Product Details ISBN: 9781646221509
ISBN-10: 1646221508
Publisher: Catapult
Publication Date: July 11th, 2023
Pages: 304
Language: English
Named a Most Anticipated Book by Nylon, Hey Alma, Literary Hub, Debutiful, The Every Girl, Library Journal and more

The Pink News, A Best Sapphic Book of 2023
Goodreads, A Buzziest Debut Novel of the Year

"In neon-tinted prose, Madievsky takes readers on a mystical journey from overlighted late-night hospital emergency rooms to brutalist apartment blocks in Moldova." —Lorraine Berry, Los Angeles Times

"If you’re looking for a wild and delightfully weird sister story, this book is for you." —Emma Specter, Vogue

"A glowing neon gem." —The Orange County Register

"A gripping, surrealist portrait of a toxic sibling relationship . . . Madievsky’s lyrical-prose style and arresting imagery create a book that is far more than an everyday romp through the Los Angeles underbelly. This is a startling story of a young woman consumed by the urge to do right." —Isle McElroy, Vulture

"All-Night Pharmacy reads like an endless Los Angeles party: aglow with fervency and bursting with drugs, sex, desperate actors, energy healers, strippers, and eccentrics. At its heart, the book is a twinned character portrait of two sisters on the edge of adulthood. It’s stylish and smart—its gloss only hints to its depth, like the uncanny glisten of a see-through acrylic nail." —Maggie Lange, Bustle

"A tender and laugh-out-loud funny debut novel . . . Exploring themes of family dynamics, generational trauma, coming out, and addiction, this book is hilarious, insightful, and unapologetically queer." —BuzzFeed, A Most Anticipated Book of the Year

"A kaleidoscope of friendship, sex, mysticism, and ambiguous power dynamics." —Dahlia Adler, LGBTQ Reads

"[A] luminous debut novel . . . At once atmospheric and visceral." —Michelle Hart, An Electric Literature Most Anticipated Book of 2023

"All-Night Pharmacy feels like reading the diary of your most off-the-rails friend—the one who’s so unpredictable that it’s almost frightening to be around her, but so fun and endearing that you would never leave her side. The friend who you’re always surprised to hear from on Monday because you were certain she died over the weekend . . . It doesn’t shy away from the difficult moments, the unexpected moments, the sexy moments. It’s a book about how hard it is to be a person, how it feels to navigate a life." —McKayla Coyle, Literary Hub

"An electric tale . . . Madievsky renders her protagonist’s search for selfhood vividly and viscerally, resulting in a coming-of-age story that radiates like a Lynchian fever dream." —Publishers Weekly

"[A] coolly delivered debut . . . Madievsky captures the mood of a woman working hard to connect with a sense of self, and she has an excellent arsenal of metaphors for disconnection . . . An assured debut, at once atmospheric and gritty." —Kirkus Reviews

“Witty, poignant, and darkly funny, All-Night Pharmacy is a vibrant debut about longing, identity, and the wild, unbreakable bonds of family. In prose that is sharp, exuberant, wry, and smart, Madievsky conjures an affecting, utterly unforgettable tale of two tempestuous sisters.” —Kimberly King Parsons, author of Black Light

"All-Night Pharmacy is a genuinely propulsive and magnetic read. Madievsky's writing is rich and boldly dark, slick and queer in all the best ways. Immersing myself in her work felt akin to pressing on a bruise, a beautiful ache that I remembered long after I finished reading. A deeply human, wonderfully twisty novel that takes you down the rabbit hole of familial trauma and back up to the light again. All-Night Pharmacy is a glimmery showstopper of a debut novel. I'm obsessed with it." —Kristen Arnett, New York Times bestselling author of Mostly Dead Things

"All-Night Pharmacy is a blackhole, a force so lively, unfiltered, and pure that you won't mind being sucked in headfirst. On a line level, Madievsky is untouchable. Somehow, she has crafted a rough-edged pill of a debut that cuts deep while also being deeply pleasurable to swallow." —Jean Kyoung Frazier, author of Pizza Girl

“With poetic precision and clear-eyed wit, Ruth Madievsky takes a scalpel to familiar ideas of intimacy, sisterhood, and becoming, reshaping them with an understanding and magnetism all her own. Her debut is a meditation on sobriety, an excavation of belonging, and the realest portrait of inherited trauma I’ve ever seen. All-Night Pharmacy is pure sorcery, like being up til dawn with your wildest, wisest friend, ready to bond yourself to her for life.” —Kyle Lucia Wu, author of Win Me Something

"All-Night Pharmacy dances on the knife's edge of a sister's fierce love and the necessary loneliness of claiming your own destiny. Wry and tender, Ruth Madievsky's novel offers a sensitive portrayal of addiction and recovery, queer romance, and fraught family dynamics. A beautiful book and healing read, from beginning to end." —Jean Chen Ho, author of Fiona and Jane