Strange Futures Book Club: Severance
The Strange Futures book club focuses on sci-fi and speculative fiction by QT/BIPOC writers. “Strange Futures” speaks to the unknown worlds that are to come–but also to the strangeness that is ascribed to marginalized voices, and how such strangeness can actually be generative, challenging, discomforting, and revolutionary. Hosted by Helen Chau Bradley, the book club meetings take place every two months, and are open to the public.
On Thursday, August 1st, 2019, we’ll assemble at the Petite Librairie Drawn + Quarterly (176 Bernard O.) at 7 PM to talk about Ling Ma’s Severance. Join us for discussion and drinks!
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.
**We offer a 20% discount on Severance from now until the meeting date.***