Rosemary Candwell’s past has exploded into her present. Down-and-out and deteriorating, she drifts from anonymous beds and bars in Providence, to a homeless shelter hidden among the hedge-rowed avenues of Newport, and through the revolving door of service jobs and quick-fix psychiatric care, always grasping for hope, for a solution. She’s desperate to readjust back into a family and a world that has deemed her a crazy bitch living a choice they believe she could simply un-choose at any time. She endures flashbacks and panic attacks, migraines and nightmares. She can’t sleep or she sleeps for days; she lashes out at anyone and everyone, especially herself. She abuses over-the-counter cold medicine and guzzles down anything caffeinated just to feel less alone. What if her family is right? What if she is truly broken beyond repair? Drawn from the author’s experience of homelessness and trauma recovery, It’s Not Nothing is a collage of small moments, biting jokes, intrusive memories, and quiet epiphanies meant to reveal a greater truth: Resilience never looks the way we expect it to look.
About the Author
Courtney Denelle is a writer from Providence, Rhode Island. She has been awarded a residency from Hedgebrook and received her greater education from the public library.
"This is an extraordinary debut from a wildly talented author. Denelle's prose is a marvel of precision. Flashes of unexpected humor light up the darkness, and the arc of her novel is deeply moving." —Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven and Sea of Tranquility