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Survival


Anna North
Outlawed

Anna North is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the author of Outlawed, published in 2021.  She has two previous novels, America Pacifica and The Life and Death of Sophie Stark, which received a Lambda Literary Award in 2016. She has been a writer and editor at Jezebel, BuzzFeed, Salon, and the New York Times, and she is now a senior reporter at Vox. She grew up in Los Angeles and lives in Brooklyn.

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Jim Shepard
Phase Six

Jim Shepard is the author of a new novel, Phase Six, and seven previous novels, including The Book of Aron (winner of the 2016 PEN New England Award, the Sophie Brody medal for achievement in Jewish literature, the Ribalow Prize for Jewish literature, the Clark Fiction Prize, and a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award) and five story collections, including Like You’d Understand, Anyway, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and won The Story Prize. His short fiction has appeared in, among other magazines, The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, McSweeney’s, The Paris Review, The Atlantic, Esquire, Tin House, Granta, Zoetrope, Electric Literature, and Vice, and has often been selected for The Best American Short Stories and The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories. He lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts, with his wife, three children, and three beagles, and he teaches at Williams College.

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Anna North’s book Outlawed is the story of Ada. In 1893, on the day of her wedding, the 17 year old’s life looks good—she loves her husband, and she loves working as an apprentice to her mother, a respected midwife. But after a year of marriage and no pregnancy, in a town where barren women are routinely hanged as witches, her survival depends on leaving behind everything she knows. She joins up with the notorious Hole in the Wall Gang, a band of outlaws led by a preacher-turned-robber known to all as the Kid, who is determined to create a safe haven for outcast women. 

Jim Shepard’s book, Phase Six, takes us not so far into the future with a prescient story that is by now all too familiar. In a tiny settlement on the west coast of Greenland, 11-year-old Aleq and his best friend, frequent trespassers at a mining site exposed to mountains of long-buried and thawing permafrost, carry what they pick up back into their village, and from there Shepard's harrowing and deeply moving story follows Aleq, one of the few survivors of the initial outbreak, through his identification and radical isolation as the likely index patient. Karen Russell said “If you’ve been waiting for the great novel of the COVID-19 era, it’s in your hands.With heroic humor and a poet’s ear and eye for what makes humanity worth saving...”


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