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Vacuum in the Dark


Jen Beagin



From the Whiting Award-winning author of Pretend I’m Dead comes a new hilarious, edgy, and brilliant one-of-a kind novel, for fans of Sally Rooney and Joshua Ferris 

Twenty-six-year-old cleaner Mona has just had a bad break up with a boyfriend named Mr Disgusting (don’t ask…) But her plans for a fresh start go awry when she meets a new man, this one called Dark. He’s probably not ideal boyfriend material: a little bit arrogant and a little bit conceited. Oh, and a little bit married. 

Wacky, outspoken and one-of-a-kind, Mona is on a mission to escape her past. But she’s about to discover that it’s easier said than done… Hilarious and shocking, exuberant and compassionate, Vacuum in the Dark is the perfect antidote to the times we live in.

  • Publication date: February 13, 2020
  • ISBN: 9781786077356
  • RRP: £8.99
  • Pages: 240
  • Publication date: April 4, 2019
  • ISBN: 9781786075307
  • RRP: £12.99
  • Pages: 240
  • Publication date: March 12, 2019
  • ISBN: 9781786075314
  • RRP: £3.99
  • Pages: 240


'This novel is a joy: truly laugh-out-loud funny, while staying grounded and dignified.'

New York Times

'By turns nutty and forlorn... Brash, deadpan, and achingly troubled, Mona emerges as that problematic friend you’re nonetheless always thrilled to see.'

O, the Oprah Magazine

'Beagin's attention to interiors and dialogue is impressive and she manages to capture the intimate portraits of her characters with deft skill... For fans of Jade Sharma and Ottessa Moshfegh.'

Irish Times

‘We all have a companion voice in our heads. Never more so when life is unpleasant but we can't really change anything. How lucky we'd be if that voice was Jen Beagin's. Honest (sometimes brutal), compassionate and always able to pick out what's funny in the darkest spot. Vacuum in the Dark had me grinning in recognition and laughing even as I winced.’

Sindhu Vee, Comedian and Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize judge

'Energetic... These adventures open up into larger questions of Mona's own stalled artistic ambitions and a reckoning with her estranged mother – issues refracted with black humor and a sense of timing that rarely slackens... The escapades are underpinned by a strong voice that seems to have seen everyone's worst, and to have nothing left to conceal.'

The New Yorker

'Revels in both order and transgression... Stands alone beautifully... Mona's unforgettably wry voice remains throughout.'


‘Wildly exuberant...a comic novel that's a joy to read but never frivolous or superficial. Beagin is unafraid to take risks, and they all pay off here — Vacuum in the Dark is an excellent book by a writer with a singular voice.’


‘Beagin stands out among fiction’s fresh crop of promising voices: Her prose is dry, cutting, and genuinely funny; she loves writing about strange people, an affection which translates in characterizations that stay sharp and peculiar without ever turning cruel.’

Entertainment Weekly

'Inventing situations and conversations that are off-the-charts in both weirdness and relatability, Beagin fashions an enchantingly intriguing main character in unfiltered, warmhearted Mona. This story of a woman embracing life's what-ifs and her own darkness is a great read.'

Booklist (starred review)

'Tremendously engaging... Funny and poignant... Beagin secures her position as a new writer to watch.'

Kirkus (starred review)

'Piquantly amusing... Weird, darkly funny...sharply drawn, sexually charged, wry with Mona's deadpan wit.'

Minneapolis Star Tribune

'An unforgettable story from one of the freshest literary voices today.'

Living North, Six of the Best Fiction Releases for 2019

Jen Beagin

Jen Beagin holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of California, Irvine, and has published stories in Juked and Faultline, among other journals and literary magazines. In 2017, she was awarded a prestigious Whiting Award for her debut novel Pretend I’m Dead. She lives in New York.

Author page

More books by Jen Beagin

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