Dual Citizens, Frying Plantain, and Small Game Hunting are on the Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist!

House of Anansi Press

Watching You Without Me

Written by Lynn Coady

Published September 24, 2019 | ISBN 9781487006884
FICTION / Literary

Cover of Watching You Without Me

Regular price $22.95 CAD

376 pages | 8 in × 5.25 in
Print Format

Also Available as an Ebook

About this book

Watching You Without Me

Lynn Coady

After her mother’s sudden death, Karen finds herself back in her childhood home in Nova Scotia for the first time in a decade, acting as full-time caregiver to Kelli, her older sister. Overwhelmed with grief and the daily needs of Kelli, who was born with a developmental disability, Karen begins to feel consumed by the isolation of her new role. On top of that, she’s weighed down with guilt over her years spent keeping Kelli and their independent-to-a-fault mother, Irene, at arm’s length. And so when Trevor — one of Kelli’s support workers — oversteps his role and offers friendly advice and a shoulder to cry on, Karen gratefully accepts his somewhat overbearing friendship. When she discovers how close Trevor was to Irene, she comes to trust him all the more. But as Trevor slowly insinuates himself into Karen and Kelli’s lives, Karen starts to grasp the true aspect of his relationship with her mother — and to experience for herself the suffocating nature of Trevor’s “care.”

Scotiabank Giller Prize–winning author Lynn Coady delivers a creepy and wholly compelling novel about the complex relationship between mothers and daughters and sisters, women and men, and who to trust and how to trust in a world where the supposedly selfless act of caregiving can camouflage a sinister self-interest.

About the Author

Lynn Coady

LYNN COADY is the critically acclaimed and award-winning author of six books, including Hellgoing, which won the Scotiabank Giller Prize, was a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, and was an Amazon.ca and Globe and Mail Best Book. She is also the author of The Antagonist, winner of the Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction and a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Her first novel, Strange Heaven, published when she was just twenty-eight, was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award. Her books have been published in the U.K., U.S., Holland, France, and Germany. Coady lives in Toronto and writes for television.

Awards and Praise


“Thank God for Lynn Coady’s singular voice and deliciously skewed world view. Every book of hers is an occasion to celebrate!” — Miriam Toews, author of Women Talking

Watching You Without Me is both a suspenseful, deeply creepy page-turner and a beautifully subtle character study of a grieving woman slowly unravelling while trying to understand how to care for her sister, and herself, in an ableist world. Another masterpiece from the singular Lynn Coady.” — Zoe Whittall, author of The Best Kind of People

“With Watching You Without Me, Coady showcases just how smooth her writing is . . . Expertly rendered characters, easy reading plot, and excellent pacing.” — Quill & Quire

Watching You Without Me is like a Lorrie Moore book suffering a Patricia Highsmith fever dream. You slide right along on Coady’s witty and endearing style, and meanwhile the trap has closed over you without your ever standing a chance.” — Jonathan Lethem, author of Motherless Brooklyn and Dissident Gardens


Winner, Scotiabank Giller Prize
Finalist, Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize
A Globe and Mail Top 10 Book
An Amazon.ca Best Book: Editors’ Pick

“Lynn Coady is one of the most dynamic prose stylists in Canadian letters.” — The Walrus

“A superb collection, end to end, and easily one of the best books I’ve read so far in 2013.” — Edmonton Journal

“Coady is a writer who increasingly commands attention and respect.” — Globe and Mail

“Coady’s sharp sense of humour serves to humanize even the most vicious or clueless figures in the book. There is searing honesty here about humankind’s inability, or unwillingness, to make an effort at connection, but the author’s own humanity rescues her vision from descending into despair or nihilism.” — National Post

“A brilliant collection of stories.” — Winnipeg Free Press


Winner, Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction
Finalist, Scotiabank Giller Prize
A Globe and Mail Top 100 Book
A Toronto Star Top 100 Book
An Amazon.ca Best Book: Canadian Fiction
An Amazon.ca Best Book: Editors’ Pick

“Dear Lynn Coady: As I said, I love your new book, with its unsettling mixture of comedy and pathos . . . Incredibly funny, sarcastic and profane, right up till the moment when the tragedy below the surface suddenly erupts . . . It’s an extraordinarily clever and sympathetic exploration of the cross-currents of male friendship, the intense relationships we make and abandon in school. How ill-fitting those intimacies feel years later whenever a college reunion or some chance encounter forces us to try them on again.” — Ron Charles, Washington Post

“A full-bodied work of fiction . . . Coady’s previous books have received much praise and it’s easy to see why, given all the gifts of storytelling on display here. A fine novel.” — Globe and Mail

“Only a writer as wonderfully gifted as Lynn Coady could elicit such extraordinary sympathy for a man as full of self-destructive rage as Rank, her main character. You won’t soon forget either him or this haunting novel.” — Richard Russo

“Coady’s fluency in the language of the college boy [is] impressive, [as is] her feel for the camaraderie that is inseparable from rivalry and masculine aggression.” — The New Yorker

“Wildly enthralling, compelling . . . A bravura novel, tightly controlled . . . a readable, quixotic coming-of-age story, a comedy of very bad manners, and a thoughtful inquiry into the very nature of self. It’s the sort of novel — and Coady the sort of writer — deserving of every accolade coming to it.” — National Post

“A wicked page-turner . . . Brilliantly moves between the harrowing and the hilarious . . . Truly confirms Coady as a comic genius . . . and one of the best Canadian writers.” — Winnipeg Free Press