Oops! The page didn’t load right. Please refresh and try again.
Severance by Ling Ma


We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Ling Ma on your first novel!

by Ling Ma

Quick take

This inventive satire about the end of the world as we know it is one we just didn't want to miss in 2018.

Good to know

  • Nonlinear timeline

  • Quirky

  • Literary

  • Millennial


This is a satirical book with a non-chronological plot and very dark humor.

Why I love it

Look, I want to be a good book-mom here and say that I love all our selections equally. But the truth is, there are a few reads from this year that I absolutely adored—For Better and Worse and An American Marriage come to mind—above all the others. And the book I loved most of all in 2018, the queen of the stack (if you will), is Severance.

The story has two plotlines, a Before and After. Before:...


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 bib...


Get an early look from the first pages of Severance.

Read a sample →

Member thoughts

All (3285)
All (3285)
Love (1069)
Like (1644)
Dislike (572)
3368 ratings
  • 32% Love
  • 49% Like
  • 17% Dislike
    December 2018