‘We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves’ by Karen Joy Fowler.

Our next read for the ‘Chi Uni Staff Book Group’ starting in November 2015 (next semester) will be. . . ‘We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves’ by Karen Joy Fowler.

A 2013 novel by the American writer Karen Joy Fowler. The novel won the 2014 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and was also short-listed for the 2014 Man Booker Prize. Hope you enjoy reading it!


As a child, Rosemary used to talk all the time. So much so that her parents used to tell her to start in the middle if she wanted to tell a story. Now Rosemary has just started college and she barely talks at all. And she definitely doesn’t talk about her family. So we’re not going to tell you too much either: you’ll have to find out for yourself what it is that makes her unhappy family unlike any other.

Rosemary is now an only child, but she used to have a sister the same age as her, and an older brother. Both are now gone – vanished from her life.

But there’s something unique about Rosemary’s sister, Fern. So now she’s telling her story; a looping narrative that begins towards the end, and then goes back to the beginning. Twice.