Congratulations on the publication of STRANGE LOOPS by Liz Harmer publishing today in North America (Knopf Canada)!

A propulsive, darkly gripping novel about the power and paradoxes of human longing, faith, trauma and taboo, from the acclaimed author of The Amateurs, shortlisted for the Amazon First Novel Award.

A fractured portrait of a darkly riveting sibling relationship from the inside out, Strange Loops is an electrifying, intelligent and emotionally charged second novel from an award-winning young literary star on the rise.

Francine and her twin brother Philip share a powerful bond in childhood that fades as they became young adults. When Philip unexpectedly becomes intensely religious, his sister decides to join his Christian youth group and soon becomes infatuated with the youth pastor. Obsessed by this transgression and what he sees as his sister’s moral impropriety, Philip eventually uncovers a dark secret that threatens to shatter his faith and estranges the two siblings for decades. Later, as an adult, even as the storm clouds of resentment and mutual betrayal between her and her brother still churn around them, Francine finds herself both stirred and alienated by her attraction to an ex-student who has recently reappeared in her life, making her feel caught in a condition of perpetual departure toward the same inevitable calamity.

Crackling with the intensity and plot twists of a dark domestic thriller but bursting with ideas and distinguished by Harmer’s penetrating eye for the messiest and most meaningful human relationships–all rendered in lean, sharp pose, Strange Loops shocks, rattles, and entertains while asking vital questions about the paradoxes that make us who we are, and probes the possibility of love outside of any will to possess or be possessed.


“Lean and enthralling, Strange Loops is brimming with the complexities and questions of human relationships. A story that burns with intensity and daring.” —Iain Reid, author of I’m Thinking of Ending Things, and Foe

“A slender, wildly compelling novel that asks infinite questions—a dizzying, kaleidoscopic foray into the desires and fears that make us so imperfectly  human. I was compelled from beginning to end—this is a novel that sinks into your very bones.” —Amanda Leduc, author of The Centaur’s Wife

Liz Harmer is a Canadian writer, editor & teacher living in California. Her stories, essays, and poems have been published widely. In 2019 she was a Bread Loaf fellow and the runner-up to the Mitchell Prize in Poetry. The winner of a National Magazine Award in Personal Journalism, she has also been included in the Best Canadian Stories 2018, a finalist for the Journey Prize, and shortlisted for the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. Her first novel, The Amateurs, a speculative novel of technological rapture, was released with Knopf Canada in 2018. After receiving starred reviews in PW and Q&Q, The Amateurs was a finalist with the Amazon First Novel Award. 

Liz is represented by Samantha Haywood.