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Preparation for the Next Life

Winner of the 2015 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction

Atticus Lish


*Winner of the New York City Book Award for Fiction* 
*Finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award for Fiction* 

New York Times Best of 2014 
Wall Street Journal‘s Best of 2014 
Vanity Fair‘s Best of 2014 
Publishers Weekly‘s Best of 2014 
BuzzFeed‘s Best of 2014 
New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2015 


Set in the underbelly of New York, Preparation for the Next Life exposes an America as seen from the fringes of society and, in devastating detail, destroys the myth of the American Dream through two of the most remarkable characters in contemporary fiction. Powerful, realistic and raw, this is one of the most ambitious – and necessary – novels of our time. 

  • Publication date: February 4, 2016
  • ISBN: 9781780748337
  • RRP: £11.99
  • Pages: 432
  • Publication date: April 2, 2015
  • ISBN: 9781780747774
  • RRP: £14.99
  • Pages: 432
  • Publication date: April 2, 2015
  • ISBN: 9781780747781
  • RRP: £4.99
  • Pages: 432


'Extraordinary, challenging and...thrilling...So simple, so heartbreaking, so very, very good'.


'[An] unfailingly vivid and engaged portrait of life on the margins of society'

Financial Times Books of 2015

‘Punches its way, bare-knuckled, through every millennial New York novel centring around middle-class intellectual characters… kicking typical tales of artsy, east-coast intelligentsia romance into a dumpster. But its real target, sought out with a heat-seeking precision, is far weightier, and that is America itself’


‘Extraordinary… “Make it new” was Ezra Pound’s exhortation… Lish does exactly that… astonishing… nothing less than a triumph, worthy of every heroic adjective a critic could throw. It is a reminder, plain and simple, of what fiction is for’


‘Powerful… Lish writes with rare confidence… he doesn’t forget that a good love story should break your heart’  


‘A blistering novel… bigger than the sum of its parts. I can think of no better recent fiction book to read as the presidential election circuit gears up.’

The Times

'Atticus Lish is a writer on a stratospheric rise, and rightly so...the book is getting plenty of attention for all the right reasons'

Irish Independent

'This book is a masterwork.'

Alan Warner, author of Morvern Callar

‘Impressive.. Charged with breathless momentum… substantial and beguiling…This is, in the end, a profoundly political book’


'Here is a raw first novel with a low center of gravity. Set in Queens, it dilates upon blinkered lives, scummy apartments, dismal food and bad options. At its heart is a love story between a Chinese immigrant and a veteran of the Iraq war. Mr. Lish’s narrative is intense, moving and somehow necessary.'

New York Times, 2014 Books of the YearDwight Garner

‘Magnificent… one of the best recent novels I have read about work as it exists for millions of people… attests to a more profound and intimate knowledge of how life functions on the margins’ 

New Statesman

'A raw, sharply rendered love story, a stark portrayal of New York, an unsparing autopsy of the Bush years, and as ambitious and impressive a debut as you could wish for'.

Irish Times

Atticus Lish

Atticus Lish is the author of Life is With People. The son of legendary writer and editor Gordon Lish, he has worked in a Styrofoam factory, as a construction labourer, a personal trainer, moving man, security guard and telemarketer. He served a brief stretch in the Marine Corps in the war-free period between Gulf One and 9/11. He lives in New York.

Author page

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