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Severance
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Monthly Pick > August 2019: Severance by Ling Ma

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message 1: by Marvin, Bobamaster (new) - added it

Marvin Yueh | 40 comments Mod
Our podcast discussion dropped today! If you have thoughts on Severance or our discussion, use this thread to discuss!


message 2: by Reera, Bookmaster (new) - rated it 5 stars

Reera | 258 comments Mod
If you have already listened to our episode, then you know how much I enjoyed this book. As a millennial who has lived in New York before, I ended up having good dose of nostalgia. For such a short book, there were so many moving parts: the apocalyptic plague, the Asian American immigrant and second gen story, millennial dread, and the effects of global consumerism.

Since we talked so long on the show, I'm just going to share some quotes I found intriguing.

“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?”

“The first place you live alone, away from your family, he said, is the first place you become a person, the first place you become yourself.”


“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.”


"I have always lived in the myth of New York more than in its reality.”


"The city was so big. It lulled you into thinking that there were so many options, but most of the options had to do with buying things: dinner entrées, cocktails, the cover charge to a nightclub."


"Day off meant we could do things we’d always meant to do. Like go to the Botanical Garden, the Frick Collection, or something. Read some fiction. Leisure, the problem with the modern condition was the dearth of leisure. And finally, it took a force of nature to interrupt our routines. We just wanted to hit the reset button.

We just wanted to feel flush with time to do things of no quantifiable value, our hopeful side pursuits like writing or drawing or something, something other than what we did for money. Like learn to be a better photographer. And even if we didn’t get around to it on that day, our free day, maybe it was enough just to feel the possibility that we could if we wanted to, which is another way of saying that we wanted to feel young, though many of us were that if nothing else.”



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