Helen Phillips

Cindy Seip

Helen Phillips is the author of five books, including the collections Some Possible Solutions ( a 2017 John Gardner Fiction Book Award winner) And Yet They Were Happy, and the novel The Beautiful Bureaucrat. She is also the author of the children’s adventure novel Here Where The Sunbeams Are Green. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, the New York Times, and Tin House, and on Selected Shorts. In her novel The Need (Simon & Schuster), nominated for a national Book Award in Fiction, Helen Phillips has created a subversive, speculative thriller that comes to life through blazing, arresting prose and haunting imagery. Molly, home alone with her two young children, hears footsteps in the living room and tries to convince herself it’s the sleep deprivation. She’s been hearing things these days. But then the footsteps come again, and she catches a glimpse of movement. Suddenly Molly finds herself face-to-face with an intruder who knows far too much about her and her family. As she attempts to protect those she loves most, Molly must also acknowledge her own frailty. She must confront the dualities of motherhood — the ecstasy and the dread; the languor and the ferocity; the banality and the transcendence — as the book hurtles toward a mind-bending conclusion. The Need is a celebration of the bizarre and beautiful nature of our everyday lives. People noted that “If the challenges of parenting young children have ever driven you to the brink, you’ll recognize what’s happening to Molly Nye—for about 10 pages. This fever dream of a novel starts like a thriller (someone’s in the living room), morphs into speculative sci-fi (the intruder is from a separate universe) and ends up like nothing you’ve ever read before. In a good way.”