Laura van den Berg, whose literary post-apocalyptic debut novel Find Me (Macmillan/FSG; OverDrive Sample) comes out tomorrow, is being compared to Margaret Atwood and Kazuo Ishiguro and getting strong reviews and sustained attention by a wide range of critics. Salon, while comparing van den Berg to Atwood and Ishiguro called her “the best young writer in America.” The LA Times “Book Jacket” says that she captures “the disturbingly elegiac qualities of 21st century life to heartbreaking effect.” The Rumpus, likening van den Berg’s novel to the best moody and lonely music (such as many songs by Bon Iver, which should be the sound track if there is a movie adaptation) says that “rarely does a bleak novel achieve the same alluring strength of sadness … Find Me is that rare novel. It has the same potency as the most melancholy music.”
For a debut, it is getting a remarkable amount of attention, with the way paved by the author’s two collections of short stories, The Isle of Youth (an O Magazine pick for one of the best books of 2013) and What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us. It is a People pick for the week, with the following annotation,
A plague has killed millions, but young Joy has made it through. Defiant and immune, she escapes the scientists monitoring her and treks across the ravaged land, searching for the mother who abandoned her, facing down terrible memories. It sounds grim, but this is a thoughtful, touching story about survival — about finding ways to heal and reasons to live.
And it has been on multiple “highly anticipated lists,” — Bustle, FlavorWire, The Millions and BuzzFeed (for more upcoming titles, Feb. through Aug., check our Catalog of Titles on “Most Anticipated” lists).
Holds are heavy at many libraries we checked.