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Meet Us by the Roaring Sea: A Novel (Hardcover)
NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS' CHOICE
"A spellbinding book." —Megha Majumdar
"Akil Kumarasamy is a singular talent." —Cathy Park Hong
In the near future, a young woman finds her mother’s body starfished on the kitchen floor in Queens and sets on a journey through language, archives, artificial intelligence, and TV for a way back into herself. She begins to translate an old manuscript about a group of female medical students—living through a drought and at the edge of the war—as they create a new way of existence to help the people around them. In the process, the translator’s life and the manuscript begin to become entangled.
Along the way, the arrival of a childhood friend, a stranger, and an unusual AI project will force her to question her own moral compass and sense of goodness. How involved are we in the suffering of others? What does real compassion look like? How do you make a better world?
About the Author
Akil Kumarasamy is the author of the linked story collection Half Gods, which was named a New York Times Editors’ Choice, was awarded the Bard Fiction Prize and the Story Prize Spotlight Award, and was a finalist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Short Story Collection. Her work has appeared in Harper’s Magazine, American Short Fiction, BOMB, and other publications. She has received fellowships from the University of East Anglia, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Yaddo, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. She is an assistant professor in the Rutgers University-Newark MFA program.
"Kumarasamy’s quirky language and wit are dazzling . . . [Her] humor is the way I dig it—deep—extending an opportunity for the reader to take a beat before absorbing the novel’s more sobering themes." —Melissa Chadburn, The New York Times Book Review
“[Meet Us by the Roaring Sea] feels beautifully balanced—chapters threaded together nimbly, the translated manuscript and the protagonist’s life echoing each other . . . Kumarasamy is also such an assured writer that you trust her completely, sentence by sentence . . . A pleasure to read.” —Ilana Masad, LA Times
"If you want a post-climate-change novel that goes all the way weird, look no further than Meet Us by the Roaring Sea . . . The story is a kind of multilayered dream sequence that asks big questions about civilization, memory and survival . . . Kumarasamy’s gorgeously written book captures the terror of living through a bewildering disruption." —Charlie Jane Anders, The Washington Post
"For all that book's prodigious skill and deft structure, readers of Half Gods will not be prepared for the uncanny brilliance of [Kumarasamy's] first novel . . . [Meet Us by the Roaring Sea is] a masterpiece that more than confirms the promise of Half Gods. Kumarasamy is one of more exciting young fiction writers at work right now." —Jonathan Russell Clark, Star Tribune
"Set in a future of eye scans, carbon credits and advanced AI, [Meet Us by the Roaring Sea] nonetheless feels surprisingly like home—even as it tests the boundaries of self and story . . . A dizzying alchemy of past and present, love and truth, death and memory." —Dana Dunham, Scientific American
"An ambitious, classification-defying novel that straddles the past and the future and offers deeply thoughtful commentary on the lines defining personal and collective identities . . . A compelling read that tackles some of the most urgent questions of our times." —Shoba Viswanathan, Booklist
"Dazzling . . . Kumarasamy’s gorgeous prose and quiet meditations on memory will enthrall readers. This ambitious effort has much to offer." —Publishers Weekly
"Akil Kumarasamy's wild, playful, terrifying, grief-struck novel Meet Us by the Roaring Sea offers an unsettling vision of the future that rises from profound contemplation of history. A spellbinding book." —Megha Majumdar, author of A Burning
"Akil Kumarasamy is a singular talent. In her novel Meet Us By the Roaring Sea, Kumarasamy has braided together stories that are original, fresh, and breathtakingly imaginative as she reflects on the ethics of care in the age of digital capitalism. I love this book." —Cathy Park Hong, author of Minor Feelings
“Meet Us by the Roaring Sea is a rare gift from one of our most brilliant writers. Akil Kumarasamy’s prose is an explosive mix of ancient wisdom laced with foreboding futurism. This deeply intelligent novel will expand your perception of history, gender, the atrocities of war and the interconnectedness of our human story.” —Kali Fajardo-Anstine, author of Woman of Light
"Meet Us By the Roaring Sea is a genre-bending marvel. Beginning in familial loss and transforming into a complex, often thrilling journey that follows the novel’s deep, compelling inner logic, Akil Kumarasamy’s newest novel is an exemplar of contemporary fiction while also heralding the literature of tomorrow." —John Keene, author of Counternarratives