It Lasts Forever and Then It’s Over

Anne de Marcken

It Lasts Forever and Then It’s Over
Giramondo Publishing
1 March 2024

It Lasts Forever and Then It’s Over

Anne de Marcken

It Lasts Forever and Then It’s Over asks how much of yourself can you lose before you are lost…and then what happens?

The heroine of this haunting, spare novel is voraciously alive in the afterlife. Adrift yet keenly aware, our undead narrator notes every bizarre detail of her new reality. She has forgotten even her name, but she remembers with unbearable longing the place where she knew herself and was known — where she loved and was loved. She heads west and into mind-boggling adventures, carrying a dead but laconically opinionated crow in her chest.

The joint winner of The Novel Prize, It Lasts Forever and Then It’s Over is a sharp and funny tale for our dispossessed times.


‘It is clear there is no simple beginning or simple ending. Every live thing is the history and future of all dead things. Every dead thing is the future of all live things.’ So muses the undead narrator of It Lasts Forever and Then It’s Over by Anne De Marcken, a brief but captivating work of prose that haunts the reader’s thoughts long after the final page.

Nameless, having lost an arm, and with a dead crow tucked into her chest, the protagonist’s dreamlike odyssey takes us west through a post-apocalyptic landscape. She grasps at memories of a lost loved one and observes the peculiarities of her poignant, new, deathless reality.

We are pulled along through her encounters with absurdity, horror and gut-wrenching loss in a stream-of-conscious narrative that creates a sense of intimate connection with the narrator. In a fragmentary style of text that mirrors the protagonist’s own unmoored existence, de Marcken poetically explores what we hold dear and questions how much of it can slip away before we find ourselves truly adrift.

Perhaps the shared symbolism of the crow makes it a lazy comparison, but in its inventive exploration of life, death and loss, It Lasts Forever and Then It’s Over feels like a sometimes irreverent but no less profound companion to Grief Is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter.

It Lasts Forever and Then It’s Over’s recognition as a joint winner of the 2022 Novel Prize speaks to its exceptional quality and originality. De Marcken’s sparse and exquisitely crafted prose is intentionally enigmatic but deeply resonant. She adeptly poses profound questions that compel readers to consider the uncertainties of existence and explore the depths of this short work’s dark humor and elusive charm.

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