Cover: All Things Seen and Unseen: A Novel by RJ McDaniel

All Things Seen and Unseen: A Novel

McDaniel, RJ

  • An incisive reflection on identity and wealth, and a refreshing racial queer story of survival

    All Things Seen and Unseen follows Alex Nguyen, an isolated, chronically ill university student in her early 20s. After a suicide attempt and subsequent lengthy hospitalization, she finds herself without a job, kicked out of campus housing, unable to afford school, and still struggling in the aftermath of a relationship’s dissolution. Hope comes in the form of a rich high school friend who offers Alex a job housesitting at her family’s empty summer mansion on a gulf island.

    Surrounded by dense forest and ocean, in the increasingly oppressive heat of a 2010s summer, Alex must try to survive as an outsider in a remote, insular community; to navigate the awkward, unexpected beginnings of a possible new romance; and to live through the trauma she has repressed to survive, even as the memories — and a series of increasingly unnerving events — threaten to pull her back under the surface.

    Available April 23, 2024. PRE-ORDER NOW!


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  • RJ McDaniel is a writer, at least for now. Their essays on baseball and other topics have been featured in Catapult, PRISM, and VICE Sports, among others. They live in Vancouver. This is their debut novel.

  • Published: April 2024

    ISBN: 9781770417090

    Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 in.

    Pages: 248

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“McDaniel ably captures Alex’s creeping dread, whipping the thin narrative into something like a fever dream. While the heavily ambiguous action may frustrate some mystery fans, the atmosphere is undeniably immersive. McDaniel makes a promising first impression.” — Publishers Weekly

“A fever dream of a novel, All Things Seen and Unseen is hypnotic, compulsive, and perfectly tuned to the horrors of being alive.” — Nancy Lee, author of Dead Girls and The Age

“What a great read! R.J. McDaniel has created a wonderful queer world on a lonely, lush Pacific Northwest island, the perfect setting for Alex Nguyen to wrestle with their traumatic past and a menacing present, even as they begin to rediscover love and joy. Complex trans and queer characters + magical forest + mysterious events = a book that’s hard to put down. Highly recommend.” — Sarah Leavitt, author of Tangles: A Story about Alzheimer’s, My Mother, and Me

“Breathtakingly beautiful writing...RJ McDaniel has created something unique and powerful in All Things Seen and Unseen. This novel is rich with vivid imagery and jam-packed with the most intense emotions.” — Miramichi Reader