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ISBN: 978-1-955239-32-5
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The New Low

Publication Date: October 2022


In June of 2023, Black Lawrence Press welcomed numerous existing and forthcoming Nomadic Press titles to our catalogue. The New Low was originally published by Nomadic.

Like a hanging mobile, the stories in The New Low move around each other, creating ever-changing insights between its characters. Each of whom struggle with identity, addictions, judgments, and life’s contradictions.


A magnificent debut collection! The interconnected characters in The New Low hit the human default motherlode for those of us who can’t quite get things right. Jennifer Lewis’s characters are beginning to slip through the cracks of life—and although we don’t know how far they’ll fall, we get to meet them on the cusp of several different life edges: desire edges, aging edges, motherhood and womanhood edges, alcohol edges, and death edges. We are left wondering if they may or may not transcend their situations. Sometimes that means someone has an affair, other times that means someone dies or comes back to life. Women and men float in and out of the pages and in and out of each other’s stories; yet none of the stories ‘resolve’ the questions—just like in life.
Lidia Yuknavitch, author of Thrust: A Novel

Vibrant, irreverent and full of surprises The New Low shines a light on our lives, exposing the cracks and oddities unseen beneath the glare of the mundane. A super enjoyable read.
Michelle Tea, author of Against Memoir

Jennifer Lewis writes authentically, and somewhat hilariously, to the page-turning rhythms of a veteran writer’s anxious and observant mind. Her stories of middle-aged (eeeek!) awakening are layered, self-aware, and relatable. The vulnerability Lewis exhibits in her exploration of the body as keeper of trauma and giver of life offers us a place to take off our bra, unzip our pants, and exhale in unison. A hybrid collection of literary fiction sprinkled with some literary nonfiction, every one of these short stories is a window into all of our many complicated and imperfect selves.
Kimberly Reyes, author of Vanishing Point

The stories in Jennifer Lewis’ collection The New Low thrum at the intersections of motherhood, individuality and desire. Curious, passionate, and hungry, characters in these often interconnecting stories are unafraid to pursue their inherent longings, even the ones they’d forgotten they harbor. Whether set inside a C-section procedure or city bars, Lewis renders her scenes with a hot and natural urgency that makes you want to keep on reading. And then read again.
Preeti Vangani, author of Mother Tongue Apologize

Jennifer Lewis writes for those who blink and find ourselves face to face with the tender realities of adulthood – the parts about growing up and being in the world that nobody ever warns us about: How lonely it can be and what the hell we’re supposed to do about it.

It hurts to be here for Lewis’ characters. They harbor a deep, lonely nostalgia as they navigate through their current moment; as if they’ve left their best and useful traits behind at a bar next to that one sweatshirt, and now it’s cold. But story after story, Lewis reminds us that the way we remedy the unresolvable ache is to move toward one another; and, what we cannot fix within is actually the grace that brings and holds us together though the worst of it. All we have is one another, exactly what we need.

With embodied and incisive prose, Lewis zooms into the moments where we catch ourselves becoming human. She spotlights the singularity of universal experiences – watching a loved one slip away, losing control of bodily agency, feeling at once not enough and too much – and takes us to the place where empathy blooms.
Christine No, author of Whatever Love Means

The stories in Jennifer Lewis’ The New Low are compelling, surprising, yet utterly recognizable. So much of what it means, and feels like, to be human is captured in this stunning collection. The small worries, the large catastrophes, new birth, and impending death, all find their moment. A fascination with larger-than-life characters takes a disillusioning hit as the curtain is pulled back and the unraveling begins. And yet, for all the exposing of what lies beneath the surface, there is a consistent and profound sympathy for the human condition itself. And no one is exactly a stranger in these vivid, wrenching, and beautiful stories, because the honesty and skill in the writing, reminds us that we too are of their kind.
Peter Bullen, author of Wallflower

About the Author

© Rohan Dacosta

Jennifer Lewis

Jennifer Lewis is a writer, editor, and the publisher of Red Light Lit. Her debut short story collection, The New Low, was released in October 2022 by Nomadic Press, where her short story, New Low, was the winner of the Bindle Award in 2018. In 2020, she won the Los Angeles Review Flash Fiction award for Put a Teat in It. Her writing has been published in The Los Angeles PressThe Rumpus, and Alta Journal. She received her MFA in creative writing from San Francisco State University in May 2015. She teaches at The Writing Salon in San Francisco.

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