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After a fire at the local pyschopharmaceutical plant, an ominous cloud spreads over the town of Clarence. Very soon, its inhabitants are flooded by their memories—some soothing, some terrifying, many bittersweet. In this witty and beguiling first novel, Anne Ursu introduces us to a variety of exquisitely-drawn characters and takes us on a journey into the heart of being human.


“Wonderfully original….This whimsical, bittersweet debut suggests that the stories of our lives are what save us.”
—Us Weekly, Best of the Week

“Anne Ursu’s writing is effervescent. She manages to fill her sentences with so much light and life that every page in Spilling Clarence is a dazzling event.”
—Ann Patchett, author of Bel Canto

“Slowly, charmingly, painfully, Spilling Clarence unfolds dimensions of how our pasts and presents intermingle, how our dreams and memories feed off one another. No scalpel can touch the truths Ursu locates…. [This novel flows] as naturally as a mountain rapid, splashing you enough to drive home the certainty that there’s much more to come - insights that make sense, issues and instincts real enough to demand that you stay alert…. When Harris Jones reopens its plant, officials assure one and all that the deletrium spill will have ‘no permanent effects.’ You can’t say the same about Spilling Clarence, which lingers.”
—The Philadelphia Inquirer

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