Ruth Madievsky, in conversation with Greg Mania, discusses All-Night Pharmacy

Ruth Madievsky

Rachel Kushner meets David Lynch in this fever dream of an LA novel about a young woman who commits a drunken act of violence just before her sister vanishes without a trace

On the night of her high school graduation, a young woman follows her older sister Debbie to Salvation, a Los Angeles bar patronized by energy healers, aspiring actors, and all-around misfits. After the two share a bag of unidentified pills, the evening turns into a haze of sensual and risky interactions--nothing unusual for two sisters bound in an incredibly toxic relationship. Our unnamed narrator has always been under the spell of the alluring and rebellious Debbie and, despite her own hesitations, she has always said yes to nights like these. That is, until Debbie disappears.

Falling deeper into the life she cultivated with her sister, our narrator gets a job as an emergency room secretary where she steals pills to sell on the side. Cue Sasha, a Jewish refugee from the former Soviet Union who arrives at the hospital claiming to be a psychic tasked with acting as the narrator's spiritual guide. The nature of this relationship evolves and blurs, a kaleidoscope of friendship, sex, mysticism, and ambiguous power dynamics.

With prose pulsing like a neon sign, Ruth Madievsky's All-Night Pharmacy is an intoxicating portrait of a young woman consumed with unease over how a person should be. As she attempts sobriety and sexual embodiment, she must decide whether to search for her estranged sister, or allow her to remain a relic of the past.


Ruth Madievsky is the author of the nationally bestselling novel, All-Night Pharmacy, winner of the National Jewish Book Award for Debut Fiction and a current California Book Award and Lambda Literary Award finalist. Her writing appears in The Atlantic, The Los Angeles Times, The Cut, GQ, Harper's Bazaar, and elsewhere. Originally from Moldova, she lives in Los Angeles, where she works as an HIV and primary care clinical pharmacist.

Event date: 
Wednesday, July 17, 2024 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
Book Soup
8818 Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Event Type: 
All-Night Pharmacy: A Novel By Ruth Madievsky Cover Image
ISBN: 9781646222254
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Catapult - July 9th, 2024

Born to Be Public By Greg Mania Cover Image
ISBN: 9781944866877
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Clash Books - June 15th, 2021