Ling Ma: Severance

photo credit: Anjali Pinto

photo credit: Anjali Pinto

Work is the centerpiece of the novel. From work, you touch on everything else – you touch on skin care and modes of self care, you touch on the expectations of immigrant parents. You can keep spiraling off from the topic of work.
— Ling Ma

Ling Ma joins me to discuss Severance.

Severance follows Candace Chen, a 20-something New Yorker who works as a production coordinator at a Bible manufacturer - when the end of the world hits. Shen Fever makes people repeat their daily routines, until they die.

Candace joins a group of survivors, led by the power-hungry IT tech Bob. They’re traveling to a place called the Facility, where, Bob promises, they will have everything they need to start society anew. But Candace is carrying a secret she knows Bob will exploit.

Severance won the 2018 Kirkus Prize, was a New York Times notable book, and was named as a best book of 2018 at Elle, NPR, the Chicago Review of Books, Vulture, Marie Claire, Refinery 29, Bustle, Buzzfeed, and many more.

Severance is Ling’s first novel.

Buy Ling’s novel Severance.