'Extraordinary, challenging and...thrilling...So simple, so heartbreaking, so very, very good'.
Preparation for the Next Life
Winner of the 2015 PEN/Faulkner Award for FictionAtticus Lish
‘BLISTERING’ THE TIMES * ‘EXTRAORDINARY’ FINANCIAL TIMES
*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.
'[An] unfailingly vivid and engaged portrait of life on the margins of society'
‘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.’
'Atticus Lish is a writer on a stratospheric rise, and rightly so...the book is getting plenty of attention for all the right reasons'
'This book is a masterwork.'
‘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.'
‘A significant contribution… striking… [Lish] isn’t catching a mood but building a world… we look to long novels for richness, not perfection, for power, not precision, so we should savour Lish’s audacity and open heart, his refusal to coddle or console’
‘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’