A Children's Bible (Hardcover)
W. W. Norton & Company, 9781324005032, 240pp.
Publication Date: May 12, 2020
May 2020 Indie Next List
— Kristen Iskandrian, Thank You Books, Birmingham, AL
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Longlisted for the 2020 National Book Award for Fiction
An indelible novel of teenage alienation and adult complacency in an unraveling world.
Pulitzer Prize finalist Lydia Millet’s sublime new novel—her first since the National Book Award long-listed Sweet Lamb of Heaven—follows a group of twelve eerily mature children on a forced vacation with their families at a sprawling lakeside mansion.
Contemptuous of their parents, who pass their days in a stupor of liquor, drugs, and sex, the children feel neglected and suffocated at the same time. When a destructive storm descends on the summer estate, the group’s ringleaders—including Eve, who narrates the story—decide to run away, leading the younger ones on a dangerous foray into the apocalyptic chaos outside.
As the scenes of devastation begin to mimic events in the dog-eared picture Bible carried around by her beloved little brother, Eve devotes herself to keeping him safe from harm.
A Children’s Bible is a prophetic, heartbreaking story of generational divide—and a haunting vision of what awaits us on the far side of Revelation.
About the Author
Praise For A Children's Bible: A Novel…
— Ron Charles
This superb novel begins as a generational comedy...and turns steadily darker, as climate collapse and societal breakdown encroach. But Millet’s light touch never falters; in this time of great upheaval, she implies, our foundational myths take on new meaning and hope.
To call it a generational allegory seems like an understatement. Millet is one of the most fascinating novelists working.
[D]arkly funny and painfully sharp.
— Carolyn Kellogg
Millet mordantly captures the complacency of older generations in the face of apocalypse, and the righteous anger, endurance, and practicality of the young.
[C]ompellingly written, compact [and] slyly funny.
— Jeffrey Ann Goldie
An American chaos story about a climate-changed future…A Children’s Bible gains strength from its contradictions. It is hilarious yet tender; absurd yet chillingly realistic, nostalgic yet prescient.
— Halimah Marcus
[A] tense, prophetic…[and] gripping page-turner.
— Donna Bettencourt
As bewitching, unflinching, wry, and profoundly attuned to the state of the planet as ever, supremely gifted Millet tells a commanding and wrenching tale of cataclysmic change and what it will take to survive.
— Donna Seaman
Eco-fiction dystopias often make our climate future outright calamities of tidal waves and massive tree die-offs. Millet…knows what’s coming is likely to be more subtle, and the slow-motion collapse she imagines in her latest novel is what makes it so harrowing.
— Mark Athitakis
If you think it’s hard to find original voices in contemporary fiction, you’re not really reading properly—Millet is one such voice: comic, erudite, humane.
— Jonny Diamond