The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan


Anais Hendricks, fifteen, is in the back of a police car, headed for the Panopticon, a home for chronic young offenders. She can't remember what’s happened, but across town a policewoman lies in a coma and Anais’s school uniform is covered in blood. Raised in foster care from birth and moved through twenty-three placements before she even turned seven, Anais has been let down by just about every adult she has ever met. Yet despite the parade of horrors visited upon her early life, she greets the world with the witty, caustic insight of a survivor—and a dreamer’s heart.  

Named one of the best books of the year by the Times Literary Supplement and the Scotsman, The Panopticon is an astonishingly haunting, remarkable debut novel. I fell utterly in love with Anais, and know you will too.

Some early praise for The Panopticon:

“Fagan has given us one of the most spirited heroines to cuss, kiss, bite and generally break the nose of the English novel in many a moon.” The New York Times

“An exquisite first novel—Jenni Fagan has created a dark, disturbing, yet ultimately hopeful portrait of a young woman growing up alone in the Scottish foster care system.  To say it is haunting is an understatement—I kept wanting to set a place for Anais at the table with the rest of my children.”—Vanessa Diffenbaugh, author of The Language of Flowers

"The best debut novel I've read this year." —Irvine Welsh, author of Trainspotting

“Very literary and suspenseful. I like books set in an altered reality—one that feels familiar and yet also deeply unfamiliar, that embodies some of the dailiness of life, and yet slowly reveals itself to be a very different, much more sinister place.”—Gillian Flynn, O, The Oprah Magazine

“A heartbreakingly intelligent and sensitive heroine wrapped in an impossibly impenetrable exterior. Readers won’t be able to tear themselves away from this transcendent debut.”—Booklist, starred review

“This dazzling and distinctive novel has at its heart an unstoppable heroine…Fagan’s prose is fierce, funny and brilliant at capturing her heroine’s sparky smartness and vulnerability…Emotionally explosive.”—Marie Claire

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