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Marlowe has recently moved back home to Vermont after flunking his first term at a private college in the Midwest, when his sort of girlfriend, Eleanor, goes missing. The circumstances surrounding Eleanor’s disappearance stand to reveal more about Marlowe than he is willing to allow. Rather than report her missing, he resolves to find Eleanor himself. Raven or Crow is the story of mistakes rooted in the ambivalence of being young and without direction.

About the Author

Joshua Amses is a graduate of Goddard College living in Brooklyn. He is currently completing his second novel, The Moment Before an Injury.

Author website


“In this deeply satisfying and often hilarious debut, Joshua Amses offers a thoughtful exploration of what happens when sex, rural life, and academia collide. A modern and often hallucinatory spin on the detective novels of Philip K. Dick, Raven or Crow is equal parts whodunit, meditation, sexual romp, and politically incorrect diatribe. Amses' voice is assured and astute, not to mention laugh-out-loud funny.” 

—Laurie Foos, author of Ex Utero and Before Elvis There Was Nothing

“It’s hard to pin down. Is Raven or Crow literary fiction? A coming of age story? A noir thriller? A smutty mag swiped from dad’s secret drawer? How about all of the above and then some. The “and then some” is Marlowe; the smartest, clumsiest, drunkest, and most depraved 21 year old ever to misplace a naked girl in the woods. What I can’t quite get my head around is how Amses managed to incorporate all of these elements while maintaining such a natural style. It’s quite simply great writing.

‍ Told with savage wit and plenty of slapstick humor, Raven or Crow is an extraordinary debut from a brilliant new voice. Don’t miss it.” 

—Lisa Wells, author of Yeah. No. Totally