The website for the fiction writer Edan Lepucki. friendships, set in the posh hills above Los Angeles, from the New York Times bestselling author of California. Edan Lepucki sets her debut novel, California, somewhere in the s. The nearness of this era helps make her vision both more discomfiting. Edan Lepucki comes to the telephone out of breath and laughing. “I’m escaping from my children!” she cries, and I can hear said offspring.

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The nearness of this era helps make her vision both more discomfiting and more credible. We are mid-apocalypse, as if Lepucki is supplying the missing years between now and, say, the desolation of Cormac McCarthy ‘s Edqn Road.

Lepucki uses this backdrop to explore how a typical marriage might survive a society that has turned into rather a dog-eat-dog affair.

The wealthy have formed their own corporate-sponsored Communities, whereas others are living in primitive outposts, fearing bands of Pirates. Young marrieds Cal and Frida live lost in the middle of these unmapped territories.


Pregnancy soon follows a lot of listless lovemaking, and Frida is consumed with a biological instinct to find a Community. She wants, quite simply, friends.

She persuades Cal to leave their outpost in search of other people. He is unreasonably antagonistic toward his hosts, but we believe in his jealous love. As one character puts it to Frida, Armageddon is “Cal’s dream come true … The two of you, the end of californla world.

Both characters make moral compromises that would have been unthinkable previously. At times these gestures seem founded in their allegorical fall; at other times they are jarring narrative caljfornia. Cal and Frida begin to fear they will be kicked out of the Land once their secret pregnancy is revealed.

Whereas the first half of California supplies evocative scenes and sentences, such as a haunting moment of confrontation with a starving coyote, attention to the visceral quality of life in this particular future diminishes as the book becomes concerned with ins and outs of a wider conspiracy and authorially dangled secrets.


Flashes of genuine narrative tension that pull the reader forward by the shirtfront are interrupted by moments of retrospection or unhurried conversation that seem unlikely or disappointingly timed. Still, a strong whiff of Nineteen Eighty-Four in the final section lends the novel a powerful and creepy finish.

One of the sheltered Communities in California ca,ifornia named after its corporate sponsor, Amazon.

Edan Lepucki on Dick Pics, California, and Motherhood | Literary Hub

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