The survivalists : a novel

by Cauley, Kashana,

Format: Print Book 2023
Availability: On Order 5 copies
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Summary
"A great and engrossing read, Kashana humanizes a way of life that is often made fun of and makes the reader understand why someone would go to such great lengths to prepare for the future, so much so she almost sold me on those Life Preserver soy bars!" --Trevor Noah

A single Black lawyer puts her career and personal moral code at risk when she moves in with her coffee entrepreneur boyfriend and his doomsday-prepping roommates in a novel that's packed with tension, curiosity, humor, and wit from a writer with serious comedy credentials

In the wake of her parents' death, Aretha, a habitually single Black lawyer, has had only one obsession in life--success--until she falls for Aaron, a coffee entrepreneur. Moving into his Brooklyn brownstone to live along with his Hurricane Sandy-traumatized, illegal-gun-stockpiling, optimized-soy-protein-eating, bunker-building roommates, Aretha finds that her dreams of making partner are slipping away, replaced by an underground world, one of selling guns and training for a doomsday that's maybe just around the corner.

For readers of Victor LaValle's The Changeling , Paul Beatty's The Sellout , and Zakiya Harris's The Other Black Girl , The Survivalists is a darkly humorous novel from a smart and relevant new literary voice that's packed with tension, curiosity and wit, and unafraid to ask the questions most relevant to a new generation of Americans: Does it make sense to climb the corporate ladder? What exactly are the politics of gun ownership? And in a world where it's nearly impossible for young people to earn enough money to afford stable housing, what does it take in order to survive?
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "When Aretha learns that her new boyfriend's housemates have doomsday-prepper leanings, it seems quirky but understandable. Aaron took refuge atop a bureau as Hurricane Sandy's waters rose, and when his household/coffee-roasting enterprise was burglarized at gunpoint, the Black residents knew they couldn't rely on cops. Who wouldn't want to be prepared after that? Incrementally, Aretha justifies the unconventional lifestyle at Tactical Coffee as she falls in love with Aaron (and his gorgeous brownstone) and drifts from her planned trajectory--work hard, make law partner, get beyond her family tragedy. While globetrotting Aaron searches for the perfect coffee bean, Aretha's warm brunches with friend Nia are replaced by silent breakfasts and nights gun-running with her new housemates Brittany, a regimented Black woman who hand-dug the backyard bunker, and James, a disgraced white journalist with violent fantasies. This debut by former Daily Show writer Cauley is compulsively readable as it tracks Aretha's dizzying downward spiral with incisive observation, logic, and dark humor and delves into the perils of the thrill of the fringe and the limits of anyone's power to control their environment."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "TV writer Cauley's well-crafted if schematic debut involves a New York City lawyer's quest to make partner at her firm and find love. Aretha is a successful Black corporate attorney assigned to squash a bunch of homeowners' insurance claims following Superstorm Sandy. Meanwhile, after countless failed dates, she meets and falls in love with coffee entrepreneur Aaron, who lives with his business partner, Brittany, in the Brooklyn house they collectively own. But once Aretha moves in, she finds out the household members, who include James, a disgraced former journalist, are stockpiling guns and making other preparations for survival, having been stirred in part by Sandy's destruction (the business name, Tactical Coffee, ought to have been a red flag). With Aaron out of town sourcing beans, Aretha accompanies James on gun runs, but in her determination to prove her worth, she loses focus at work and starts slipping up. Cauley's understanding of plot is impeccable and she keeps the tension taut as Aretha gets more involved with the group, but though the author lightly grapples with the politics of gun ownership, the matter is ultimately reduced to cheap thrills (Aretha, for instance, "wanted to enjoy the rush of her last trip to make money off guns"), and the characters are written to type. It's a good story, but it should have gone straight to screenplay. (Jan.)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Novels.
Publisher New York :Soft Skull,2023
Edition First Soft Skull edition.
Language English
Description pages cm
ISBN 9781593767273
1593767277
Other Classic View