Rabbit Hole

Rabbit Hole Kate Brody

Kate Brody’s debut novel, Rabbit Hole, invites readers into the shadowy realms of Reddit, delivering a sharp critique of the online world we live in. The novel unravels the mind of Teddy, twisted by grief, as she grapples with her father’s suicide a decade after her sister’s mysterious disappearance. Teddy, a gloriously flawed and unreliable protagonist, adds a layer of captivating dread to the narrative. As she sifts through her father’s computer, descending into a Reddit abyss, Teddy’s journey becomes a psychological misadventure. The narrative unfolds through a depressive haze, intensifying with each page, as Teddy confronts her own maladaptive decisions — a journey fraught with emotional turmoil and revelation. We talk to the author about the dark world she has drawn.

I spent a lot of time on Reddit, both in true crime communities and on other subreddits. I felt that it was really important to get the voice right. Voice is the defining feature of the internet (in my opinion), and users on Reddit “sound” different than on other sites. I also read a lot of articles, blogs, and think pieces about true crime. The way that audiences approach real life mysteries, like they are games, was interesting to me, and I knew I wanted that to be a part of the book.

I wrote a draft of the book in about a year, starting around when I had my first baby. Much of the writing took place at night, or in small bursts when I could find time to myself. From there, I queried an agent and we spent a year revising the book together before going out on submission. Editing is always the most labor-intensive part of the process for me. My first drafts are very messy.

I don’t know if I thought about atmosphere as something I was consciously manipulating. I just stayed as close as I could to Teddy’s perspective, so I adopted all her blind spots and her convoluted way of thinking. I knew when I started that the book needed to be in first person to work, and the present tense added an additional layer of immediacy. Things are always happening moment to moment in Teddy’s head, never at any kind of narrative distance.

I am haunted by the fallibility of memory. I wonder often about my own reliability. When we talk the people that we’ve lost, we’re always mixing the real and the imagined. This causes me some distress to consider, but I think it’s true. There is no way to preserve someone perfectly after they’re gone. Legacies become tarnished by ex post facto information, hagiography, and fading recollections. Teddy existing in this nether state between the real world and the imagined is, in that way, a manifestation of her grief and her inability to move on from the past.

This is an exclusive excerpt from our January EZ. To read the entire article and more such pieces, follow the link here.

Words Paridhi Badgotri
Date 24.01.2024