Ling Ma

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December 2018


Ling Ma is author of the novel Severance, which received the Kirkus Prize. Her work has appeared in Granta, Playboy, Vice, ACM, the Chicago Reader, Ninth Letter, and others.

She was born in Sanming, China and grew up in Utah, Nebraska, and Kansas. She holds an MFA from Cornell University and an AB from the University of Chicago.

Average rating: 3.83 · 36,930 ratings · 4,898 reviews · 1 distinct workSimilar authors
Severance

3.83 avg rating — 36,931 ratings — published 2018 — 16 editions
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“To live in a city is to live the life that it was built for, to adapt to its schedule and rhythms, to move within the transit layout made for you during the morning and evening rush, winding through the crowds of fellow commuters. To live in a city is to consume its offerings. To eat at its restaurants. To drink at its bars. To shop at its stores. To pay its sales taxes. To give a dollar to its homeless.
To live in a city is to take part in and to propagate its impossible systems. To wake up. To go to work in the morning. It is also to take pleasure in those systems because, otherwise, who could repeat the same routines, year in, year out?”
Ling Ma, Severance

“A second chance doesn't mean you're in the clear. In many ways, it is the more difficult thing. Because a second chance means that you have to try harder. You must rise to the challenge without the blind optimism of ignorance.”
Ling Ma, Severance

“Memories beget memories. Shen fever being a disease of remembering, the fevered are trapped indefinitely in their memories. But what is the difference between the fevered and us? Because I remember too, I remember perfectly. My memories replay, unprompted, on repeat. And our days, like theirs, continue in an infinite loop.”
Ling Ma, Severance

Polls

July book time! BEFORE YOU VOTE: Will you return to discuss the book you voted on? Voting and running is not cool, so don't do it please, for the sake of other participants. Now... what book would you like to discuss in July? (Read in June.) Happy voting!
*As always I recommend if any look good to you, go ahead and put them on hold at the library if available.*

Severance by Ling Ma
2019, 291 pages, 3.89 stars, Kindle $10.99, used staring at $7.99, at the library

"Candace Chen, a millennial drone self-sequestered in a Manhattan office tower, is devoted to routine. So she barely notices when a plague of biblical proportions sweeps New York. Then Shen Fever spreads. Families flee. Companies halt operations. The subways squeak to a halt. HSoon entirely alone, still unfevered, she photographs the eerie, abandoned city as the anonymous blogger NY Ghost.

Candace won’t be able to make it on her own forever, though. Enter 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. Should she escape from her rescuers?"


 
  11 votes, 35.5%

Earth Abides by George R. Stewart
1949, 345 pages, 3.96 stars, Kindle $9.99, used over $10, may be at the library

"A disease of unparalleled destructive force has sprung up almost simultaneously in every corner of the globe, all but destroying the human race. One survivor, strangely immune to the effects of the epidemic, ventures forward to experience a world without man. What he ultimately discovers will prove far more astonishing than anything he'd either dreaded or hoped for.'"


 
  8 votes, 25.8%

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
1962, 213 pages, 4 stars, Kindle $9, cheap used, at the library

"A vicious fifteen-year-old droog is the central character of this 1963 classic. In Anthony Burgess's nightmare vision of the future, where criminals take over after dark, the story is told by the central character, Alex, who talks in a brutal invented slang that brilliantly renders his and his friends' social pathology. A Clockwork Orange is a frightening fable about good and evil, and the meaning of human freedom. And when the state undertakes to reform Alex to 'redeem' him, the novel asks, 'At what cost?'"


 
  6 votes, 19.4%

The Silence by Tim Lebbon
2015, 363 pages, 3.83 stars, Kindle $7.99, used starting at $7.99, may be at the library

"In the darkness of a vast cave system, cut off from the world for millennia, blind creatures hunt by sound. Then there is light, there are voices, and they feed... Swarming from their prison, they multiply and thrive. To scream, even to whisper, is to summon death.

Deaf for many years, Ally knows how to live in silence. Now, it is her family's only chance of survival. To leave their home, to shun others, to find a remote haven where they can sit out the plague. But will it ever end? And what kind of world will be left?"


 
  6 votes, 19.4%

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