Out July 8, 2014!
Read the first chapter here!
California is a fall 2014 selection of Barnes & Noble’s Discover Great New Writers program!
“Breathtakingly original, fearless and inventive, pitch perfect in its portrayal of the intimacies and tiny betrayals of marriage, so utterly gripping it demands to be read in one sitting: Edan Lepucki’s California is the novel you have been waiting for, the novel that perfectly captures the hopes and anxieties of contemporary America. This is a novel that resonates on every level, a novel that stays with you for a lifetime. Read it now.”
–Joanna Rakoff, author of A Fortunate Age and My Salinger Year
“In her arresting debut novel, Edan Lepucki conjures a lush, intricate, deeply disturbing vision of the future, then masterfully exploits its dramatic possibilities.”
–Jennifer Egan, author of A Visit from the Goon Squad
“I wanted to say something blurby about Edan Lepucki’s book, something like ‘if Lorrie Moore had written Cormac McCarthy’s The Road…’ but that seems too glib for this stunning and brilliant novel, which is a wholly original take on the post-apocalypse genre, an end-of-the-world we’ve never seen before and yet is uncomfortably believable and recognizable. By turns funny and heartbreaking, scary and tender, beautifully written and compulsively page-turning, this is a book that will haunt me, and that I’ll be thankful to return to in the years to come. It left me speechless. Read it, and prepare yourself.”
–Dan Chaon, author of Await Your Reply and Stay Awake
“It’s tempting to call this novel post-apocalyptic, but really, it’s about an apocalypse in progress, an apocalypse that might already be happening, one that doesn’t so much break life into before and after as unravel it bit by bit. Edan Lepucki tells her tale with preternatural clarity and total believability, in large part by zeroing in on the relationships — between husband and wife, brother and sister, parent and child — that are, it turns out, apocalypse-proof. Post-nothing. California is timeless.”
—Robin Sloan, author of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
“California is a vivid and terrifying exploration of a richly imagined world that is both unrecognizable and deeply, eerily familiar to our own. Lepucki’s talent on display here is a balance of speculation and grounded emotional truth, livened with a deft touch of humor that shows itself in unexpected moments. An entertaining and stimulating debut, and I’m already looking forward to her next.”
–Charles Yu, author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe
“This thrilling and thoughtful debut novel by Edan Lepucki follows a young married couple navigating dangers both physical and emotional in a wild, mysterious post-collapse America. It’s a vivid, believable picture of a not-so-distant future and the timeless negotiation of young marriage, handled with suspense and psychological acuity.”
—Janet Fitch, author of Paint it Black
“California is carefully drawn and beautifully textured. It’s a pleasure to watch love and family transform in this dark, strange forest.”
–Ramona Ausubel, author of No One is Here Except All of Us and A Guide to Being Born
“There’s been no shortage of apocalyptic scenarios in our recent literature. What makes Edan Lepucki’s novel so stunning is that her survivors don’t merely resemble us, they are us, in their emotional particularity and dilemmas. The result is a book as terse and terrifying as the best of Shirley Jackson, on the one hand, and as clear-eyed and profound a portrait of a marriage as Evan Connell’s Mrs. Bridge, on the other. California is superb.”
—Matthew Specktor, author of American Dream Machine
California is a wonder: a big, gripping and inventive story built on quiet, precise human moments. Edan Lepucki’s eerie near future is vividly and persuasively imagined. She is a fierce new presence in American fiction.
–Dana Spiotta, author of Stone Arabia
“Edan Lepucki’s novel California kept me up for five nights. This was a problem. However, I was not just tired, but often worried for the characters, for our world, and then astonished and laughing at her skill with humor and lyricism even in the fearful landscape. It’s a ruined place, yes, but the bonds of family, and the betrayal of blood, are as true as ever in her surprising imagery and her complicated humans, who could be any of us.”
—Susan Straight, author of Between Heaven and Here
“In her remarkable debut California, Edan Lepucki has conjured a post-apocalyptic vision that is honest, frightening, and altogether too realistic. At times disturbing and often heartbreaking, California is an original examination of the limitations of family and loyalty in a world on the verge of collapse.”
–Ivy Pochoda, author of Visitation Street
“Edan Lepucki is the very best kind of writer: simultaneously generous and precise. I am long been an admirer of her prose, but this book—this book, this massive, brilliant book—is a four alarm fire, the ambitious and rich introduction that a writer of her caliber deserves. I can’t wait for the world to know what I have known for so many years, that Edan Lepucki is the real thing, and that we will all be bowing at her feet before long.”
—Emma Straub, author of Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures
“An expansive, full-bodied and masterful narrative of humans caught in the most extreme situations, with all of our virtues and failings on full display: courage, cowardice, trust, betrayal, honor and expedience. The final eighty pages of this book gripped me as much as any fictional denouement I’ve encountered in recent years….Edan has shown herself to be a wonderfully unsettling and perceptive chronicler of contemporary life. Nothing, and I mean nothing, gets past her gimlet eye, and she’s unflinching, and often uproariously funny, in her narratives of love, family, work, sex, and death, all that messy human stuff that fills and sometimes overfills our days. I firmly believe that Edan Lepucki is on the cusp of a long, strong career in American letters.”
—Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk