Usually ships 1-3 business days
Shipping options »
List Price $26.00
On Its Way

Severance: A Novel

Severance: A Novel

"Steeped as we are in ends of the world both real and fictional, a certain sense of Apocalypse Fatigue has set in. Everything is such an emergency and we can only feel percentages of it. This mordant, claustrophobic, lovely novel is something new. With Severance, Ling Ma has made the profound loneliness of life in the time of global cataclysm feel as acute as it should. Ma grabs a fistful of genre tropes and clenches down until what emerges is a diamondlike meditation on displacement of all kinds. Her apocalypse—like ours—is rooted in capitalism, labor, and mundane routine, shot through with physical gore, and suffused with tenderness for what we have already lost, what we are losing still."

Lauren A.

See all my recommendations »

Author Ling Ma
Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date 2018-08-14
Section New Hardcover - Fiction / All Staff Suggestions / Lauren A.
Type New
Format Hardcover
ISBN 9780374261597

Maybe it’s the end of the world, but not for Candace Chen, a millennial, first-generation American and office drone meandering her way into adulthood in Ling Ma’s offbeat, wryly funny, apocalyptic satire, Severance. Candace Chen, a millennial drone self-sequestered in a Manhattan office tower, is devoted to routine. With the recent passing of her Chinese immigrant parents, she’s had her fill of uncertainty. She’s content just to carry on: She goes to work, troubleshoots the teen-targeted Gemstone Bible, watches movies in a Greenpoint basement with her boyfriend. So Candace barely notices when a plague of biblical proportions sweeps New York. Then Shen Fever spreads. Families flee. Companies cease operations. The subways screech to a halt. Her bosses enlist her as part of a dwindling skeleton crew with a big end-date payoff. Soon entirely alone, still unfevered, she photographs the eerie, abandoned city as the anonymous blogger NY Ghost. Candace won’t be able to make it on her own forever, though. Enter a group of survivors, led by the power-hungry IT tech Bob. They’re traveling to a place called the Facility, where, Bob promises, they will have everything they need to start society anew. But Candace is carrying a secret she knows Bob will exploit. Should she escape from her rescuers? A send-up and takedown of the rituals, routines, and missed opportunities of contemporary life, Ling Ma’s Severance is a moving family story, a quirky coming-of-adulthood tale, and a hilarious, deadpan satire. Most important, it’s a heartfelt tribute to the connections that drive us to do more than survive.

There are no customer reviews for this item yet.

Leave a Review

Our Frequent Buyer Card

Members of our Frequent Buyer Program receive benefits at Harvard Book Store and Sign up for free!

Learn More »

Signed by the Author

Join our Signed First Edition Club (or give a gift subscription) for a signed book of great literary merit, delivered to you monthly.

Learn More »

Shipping & Delivery

Shipping rates
and options, locally
and throughout
the U.S.

Learn More »