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Severance

Severance

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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

"A stunning, audacious book with a fresh take on both office politics and what the apocalypse might bring." —Michael Schaub, NPR.org “A satirical spin on the end times-- kind of like The Office meets The Leftovers.” --Estelle Tang, Elle NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY: NPR * The New Yorker ("Books We Loved") * Elle * Marie Claire * Amazon Editors * The Paris Review (Staff Favorites) * Refinery29 * Bustle * Buzzfeed * BookPage * Bookish * Mental Floss * Chicago Review of Books * HuffPost * Electric Literature * A.V

Club * Jezebel * Vulture * Literary Hub * Flavorwire Winner of the NYPL Young Lions Fiction Award * Winner of the Kirkus Prize for Fiction * Winner of the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award * Finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel * A New York Times Notable Book of 2018 * An Indie Next Selection 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.

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