How It Works Out: A Novel (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

How It Works Out was so good it felt effortless to read. The premise is perfect, and the execution hits. Rattling through hypothetical lives, these two lesbians love and depend on each other in spicy hot yet severely problematic ways. Oh, and the touch of gore was perfect!

It's the best weird lesbian novel I've read. My perfect book! >:)

— Iris


“Audacious, breathtaking, and inspiring.” —GEORGE SAUNDERS

“Madcap, delirious, exhilaratingly good.” —KELLY LINK

“A delightfully bizarre and unabashedly queer revelation.” —TEGAN and SARA QUIN 

“A beautifully brilliant, hilariously sad stunner of a debut that never forgets about the heart.” —NANA KWAME ADJEI-BRENYAH

What if you had the chance to rewrite the course of your relationship, again and again, in the hopes that it would work out?

When Myriam and Allison fall in love at a show in a run-down punk house, their relationship begins to unfold through a series of hypotheticals:

What if they became mothers by finding a baby in an alley? What if the only cure for Myriam’s depression was Allison’s flesh? What if they were B-list celebrities, famous for writing a book about building healthy lesbian relationships? How much darker—or sexier—would their dynamic be if one were a power-hungry CEO, and the other her lowly employee?

From the fantasies of early romance to the slow encroaching of violence that unravels the fantasy, each reality builds to complete a brilliant, painfully funny portrait of love’s many promises and perils.

Equal parts sexy and profane, unsentimental, and gut-wrenching, How It Works Out is a genre-bending, arresting, uncanny exploration of queerness, love, and our drive for connection, in any and all possible worlds.

About the Author

Myriam Lacroix was born in Montreal to a Québécois mother and a Moroccan father, and currently lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. She has a BFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia and an MFA from Syracuse University, where she was editor in chief of Salt Hill Journal and received the New York Public Humanities Fellowship for creating Out-Front, an LGBTQ+ writing group whose goal was to expand the possibilities of queer writing.

Praise For…

“[A] mesmerizing novel-in-stories . . . No matter the scenario, Lacroix shows a gift for cutting to the heart of things: the way you inevitably open yourself up to both injury and transformation when you try to love and be loved . . . As kaleidoscopic as the queer experience, this is an introduction to a writer of great imagination.”
— KIRKUS REVIEWS, Starred Review

“[The book’s] prose is brilliant. It’s sophisticated and smart, and at the same time, it melts on the tongue like candy and is quick to digest . . . A gorgeous, speculative exercise in romance that’s as bound together as it is fragmented. I predict [Lacroix’s] style of writing will inspire imitations of this surreal, broken, sewn together tapestry of a story, told deliberately and nonsensically. I was half sad this was a debut because I wanted there to be more.”

“An early contender for Best Premise: when Myriam and Alison fall in love at a local punk show, their relationship begins to play out as different hypotheticals in different realities. What if the two of them became bestselling lifestyle celesbians? What if they embraced motherhood upon finding an abandoned baby in alley? What if one was a CEO and the other was her lowly employee?”
— ELECTRIC LITERATURE, Most Anticipated of 2024

“[A] provocative first novel . . . Lacroix’s experiments with a multiverse structure and body horror generate potent symbols for the struggles of queer relationships, as does her biting wit . . . Readers won’t soon forget Lacroix’s singular voice.”

“LaCroix’s debut novel . . . follows a lesbian couple as their relationship falls to pieces across a number of possible realities. The increasingly fascinating and troubling potentialities—B-list feminist celebrity, toxic employer-employee tryst, adopting a street urchin, cannibalism as relationship cure—form a compelling image of a complex relationship in multiversal hypotheticals.”
— THE MILLIONS, Most-Anticipated of 2024

"Deliriously silly and sharply written. A bold debut, hilarious and thoughtful in equal measure, unafraid to make fun of itself while never toppling with its absurdity."
— OURCULTURE, Books We're Excited to Read in May

“Thrilling[…] Lacroix sets the [protagonists’] relationship against unsettling backdrops, from cannibalistic tendencies to capitalist dystopias, and leans into grotesque imagery — which toes the line of body horror, at times — to depict the intensity of Myriam and Allison’s devotion to each other.”

“Myriam and Allison meet and fall in love at a punk house show, and their story then spirals out into a series of fantasies and hypotheticals in this truly ambitious . . . and genre-bending debut novel.”

“Myriam Lacroix’s novel How It Works Out is brilliantly inventive and boldly entertaining.”

How It Works Out is one of the quirkiest, and most rewarding, novels in recent memory…The book, however, is more than just an exploration of the characters themselves: stories serve as commentaries on influencer culture, power dynamics, environmentalism, mental illness, parenthood and loss, among other issues, with the shifting universes offering seemingly unlimited potential for the realities orbiting the couple.”


“What an audacious, breathtaking, and inspiring debut. The power of this formally innovative and deeply funny book is that everything exists to serve the compassionate heart at its core. Myriam Lacroix's work is a cause for celebration.”
— GEORGE SAUNDERS, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Lincoln in the Bardo and Liberation Day

How It Works Out is a delightfully bizarre and unabashedly queer revelation; a truly captivating exploration of love. Myriam Lacroix’s kaleidoscopic first novel invites you to embrace the unconventional and revel in the multiverse of ‘what-ifs’ we only wish we could explore in our own relationships. We loved it.”
— TEGAN AND SARA QUIN, New York Times bestselling authors of High School

“I loved this book. It’s like nothing else I’ve read. Every single page kept me guessing––it's rare to read something so delightfully strange.”
— KRISTY LOGAN, author of Now She Is Witch

“Hilarious, heart-rending, grotesque, delightful, utterly brilliant.”
— DAISY JOHNSON, author of Everything Under

How It Works Out is madcap, delirious, exhilaratingly good.”
— KELLY LINK, author of The Book of Love

"In How It Works Out, we see wonderfully different iterations of Myriam and Allison that all work together in the most satisfying and unexpected ways. Lacroix writes with a brave heart, a fiercely inventive mind, and a breathtaking ability to render it all in precise, stellar sentences. A hilarious, unsettling, and moving debut."
— DANA SPIOTTA, National Book Award finalist and author of Wayward

“Lacroix has written a beautifully brilliant, hilariously sad stunner of a debut that never forgets about the heart.”
— NANA KWAME ADJEI-BRENYAH, New York Times bestselling author of Friday Black and Chain-Gang All-Stars

“The shape-shifting, speculative history of a Great Love, in which any distinction between what really happened, what might have happened, and what couldn’t possibly have happened is thrillingly moot. Funny and lusty and wistful and bold; best of all, How It Works Out genuinely feels unlike anything you’ve read before.”
— JONATHAN DEE, Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of Sugar Street

Product Details
ISBN: 9781419773518
ISBN-10: 1419773518
Publisher: The Overlook Press
Publication Date: May 7th, 2024
Pages: 240
Language: English