CHOP SUEY BOOKS BOOK CLUB

Each month we meet to discuss a book chosen by our booksellers.The selection is eclectic and guaranteed to facilitate lively conversation. Stop by the store to pick up your book club copy and receive a 10% discount.

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AUGUST BOOK SELECTION

Severance by Ling Ma

Meeting location:
Chop Suey Books
(2913 W. Cary St.)
Meeting date & time: Wednesday, August 28th @ 7:00pm
(the shop will remain closed, knock on the door!)

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About the book: 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.

Past book club books:

Black Wave by Michelle Tea
Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff
Richmond's Unhealed History by Benjamin Campbell
When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele
Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi
The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann
Surpassing Certainty by Janet Mock
Sinister Wisdom #109 featuring Mary Dean Carter, Beth Marschak & Mary Gay Hutcherson
Sorry to Disrupt the Peace by Patty Yumi Cottrell
Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke
Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones
Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions by Valeria Luiselli
Dawn by Octavia E. Butler
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
A People’s Future of the United States edited by Victor LaValle & John Joseph Adams
The Houseguest by Amparo Davila
Not Here by Hieu Minh Nguyen
Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead
Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi