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The Survivalists

A novel by

A Phenomenal Book Club Pick

“A great and engrossing read, Kashana humanizes a way of life that is often made fun of and makes the reader understand why someone would go to such great lengths to prepare for the future, so much so she almost sold me on those Life Preserver soy bars!” —Trevor Noah

A single Black lawyer puts her career and personal moral code at risk when she moves in with her coffee entrepreneur boyfriend and his doomsday-prepping roommates in a novel that's packed with tension, curiosity, humor, and wit from a writer with serious comedy credentials

In the wake of her parents’ death, Aretha, a habitually single Black lawyer, has had only one obsession in life—success—until she falls for Aaron, a coffee entrepreneur. Moving into his Brooklyn brownstone to live along with his Hurricane Sandy-traumatized, illegal-gun-stockpiling, optimized-soy-protein-eating, bunker-building roommates, Aretha finds that her dreams of making partner are slipping away, replaced by an underground world, one of selling guns and training for a doomsday that’s maybe just around the corner. 

For readers of Victor LaValle’s
The Changeling, Paul Beatty’s The Sellout, and Zakiya Harris’s The Other Black Girl, The Survivalists is a darkly humorous novel from a smart and relevant new literary voice that's packed with tension, curiosity and wit, and unafraid to ask the questions most relevant to a new generation of Americans: Does it make sense to climb the corporate ladder? What exactly are the politics of gun ownership? And in a world where it’s nearly impossible for young people to earn enough money to afford stable housing, what does it take in order to survive?

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"The Survivalists is a gun blast of a book. With enough power to keep a whole city running, Kashana Cauley questions what it means to live in fear, or through it, and how much of ourselves we sometimes have to lose in order to reveal our most brilliant parts. Even more impressive is her masterful precision in capturing something we've all felt: the need for escape from everyday monotony. This is a delightfully irreverent novel that will leave you feeling alive, prepared for anything, and, most important, understood." - Mateo Askaripour

"Kashana Cauley's novel The Survivalists is beautifully written. With language that is smart, economical and clear she renders a story that is about relationships and our culture. I love this character Aretha, her observations, her arguments, her irony. This a nice piece of work." - Percival Everett

"Kashana Cauley understands all the possible ways in which our lives--relationships, roommates, jobs--can go suddenly, absurdly, inexorably, almost thrillingly wrong. If there was such a thing as required reading for living through the twenty-first century in America, I'd put The Survivalists near the top of the list. I loved it." - Kelly Link

"The Survivalists is an edgy, darkly funny look at a group of gun-running doomsday preppers hiding in plain sight in the middle of hipster Brooklyn. Kashana Cauley follows her protagonist--a Black corporate lawyer--down a rabbit hole of paranoia and alienation. In the process, Cauley reveals some surprising truths about race, work, friendship, and love." - Tom Perrotta

"The brilliant and outrageously funny Kashana Cauley shines her laser on all the things that make our country suck, but her wit and calm intelligence make The Survivalists such a warm hot toddy of a novel." - Gary Shteyngart

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