A revelatory literary novel reminiscent of The Life of Pi and The Art of Racing in the Rain, a struggling writer finds himself unable to open up to the possibility of love - except through the companionship of his aging dachshund Lily. But with the unexpected arrival of a small octopus that affixes itself to Lily's head, it soon becomes clear the invader is strangling the life from his dog and threatening the bond with his one true friend.
NATIONAL BESTSELLER "Lily and the Octopus is the dog book you must read this summer... Reading this heart-wrenching but ultimately breathtaking novel was a very profound experience... As Lily might say, 'YOU! MUST! READ! THIS! BOOK!'" -The Washington Post "Startlingly imaginative...'Lily and the Octopus' is a love story sure to assert its place in the canine lit pack...Be prepared for outright laughs and searing or silly moments of canine and human recognition. And grab a tissue: THERE! WILL! BE! EYE! RAIN!" -Newsday "Sensitive, hilarious, and emotionally rewarding... The intimacy of pet ownership is sweetly suffused throughout this heartwarming autobiographical fiction... In generous helpings of bittersweet humanity, Rowley has written an immensely poignant and touchingly relatable tale that readers (particularly animal lovers) will love." -Publishers Weekly "Steven Rowley's touching, fresh, energetic novel isn't simply another 'boy and his dog' story. It is a profound exploration of grief-how we find ourselves lost, how we search for reason, how we sacrifice ourselves for our loved ones, all to avoid paying the octopus. But the octopus will be paid. And in settling that debt, in the magical, hopeful world of Lily and the Octopus, we will learn to live-and love-again. A wonderfully moving story." -Garth Stein, bestselling author of The Art of Racing in the Rain "An exceedingly authentic, keenly insightful, and heartbreakingly poignant tribute to the purity of love between a pet and its human." -Booklist (starred review) "A quirky and deeply affecting charmer of a novel, Lily and the Octopus is funny, wise, and utterly original in its exploration of what it means to love any mortal creature. This brave little dachshund will capture your heart, as will her prickly, tenderhearted, and irresistible owner. Don't miss their adventures together." -Sara Gruen, bestselling author of Water for Elephants "Singular, spectacular, and touchingly tentacular." -Chris Cleave, bestselling author of Little Bee "You will tear through this big-hearted, inventive novel. A fast and funny read that also happens to be a profound meditation on love and forgiveness, Lily and the Octopus is a delight." -Christina Baker Kline, bestselling author of Orphan Train "Intelligently written, finely observed, and surprisingly moving, this is a book you'll find hard to put down." -Graeme Simsion, bestselling author of The Rosie Project "A whimsical, touching tale" -People "My favorite book of the year: Steven Rowley's Lily and the Octopus. Hilarious, heartbreaking. You will absolutely cry and you will love it." -Patrick Ness, bestselling author of The Rest of Us Just Live Here "You don't need to be a dog lover to enjoy Steven Rowley's new book, 'Lily and the Octopus,' but if you've realized you like your dog more than most humans you encounter, this is one you won't want to miss." -Newport Beach Independent "In his funny, ardent and staunchly kooky way, Rowley expresses exactly what it's like to love a dog." -Kirkus Reviews "Rowley shares a moving, profound tale of grappling with loss." -Real Simple "It is a joyful book; it is also a sincerely written tragedy that invoked the purity of friendship between animal/human family members. It's laughter through tears. Rowley has a sense of humor with just enough morbid sensibility to appeal to a wide audience (even if animal best friend books aren't one's thing). Yet, he navigates the five stages of grief and loss while inspiring others to appreciate the lives we already have." -Edge Media "Portland's Steven Rowley strikes a chord in a moving book about heartache and friendship that is expected to be a big seller this summer." -Portland Press Herald "The connection between man and dog is loud and clear in this sweet novel..." -Fort Worth Star-Telegram "Author Steven Rowley uses humor and pop-culture references to tell a whimsical story of courage in the face of heartbreaking reality. Philosophical and introspective, "Lily and the Octopus" also looks at the transformative power of love, the importance of forgiveness and the beauty of really living, letting ourselves be seen instead of hiding in plain sight...I laughed, I sobbed, and at the end, I felt as if I'd caught up with a friend over coffee." -The Free Lance-Star 'This cute and quirky tale will steal your heart.' -- The Sun 'A stirring journey through the life of one man and his dog, peppered with laughter and heart-tugging moments.' -- The Daily Mail
Steven Rowley has worked as a freelance writer, newspaper columnist, and screenwriter. Originally from Portland, Maine, he is a graduate of Emerson College. He currently resides in Los Angeles with his boyfriend and their dog. Lily and the Octopus is his first novel. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @MrStevenRowley.