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How to Build a Home for the End of the World

$18.00 USD

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In the midst of widespread drought, the Sorensens have been relatively sheltered in their hometown of Fox Lake, Illinois. But, when all the water in their lake disappears overnight, family bonds begin to unravel. Seventeen-year-old Mary-Beth, hell-bent on saving the girl she loves, convinces her father, Donny, to go on a road trip to California. Along the way, they meet inventors and academics, ancestors and desert healers, angels and ghosts, all while reckoning with the faultlines of their past to imagine a better future, a remade home in the world.

Framed as a case history of post-apocalyptic times, How To Build a Home for the End of the World considers how people negotiate care in the throes of ever-unfolding crisis.

About the author: 

Keely Shinners is a writer from Fox Lake, Illinois. They are currently based in Cape Town where they write fiction and essays about literature and art. How To Build a Home for the End of the World is their first novel.

What people are saying: 

"Keely Shinners’ evocative debut is a striking reminder that care, dedication, and love powerfully endure even though the world as we know it becomes terrifyingly unrecognizable."

Zoé Samudzi, co-author of As Black as Resistance.

"In this trenchant novel, the end of the world also brings us to the very brink of the end of whiteness... Written with heartfelt insight, depth and longing, this road trip through a civilization in the process of collapse carefully balances both sides of the devastation: all that was thoughtlessly degraded and what it might look like to embrace some form of repair, all the while circling around the question of what it might mean to more fully and honestly love." 

Jacob Wren, author of Polyamorous Love Song

"In How To Build a Home for the End of the World, Keely Shinners' directive is to sit with the darkness of various, variegated crises (environmental, political, spiritual). Maybe, in documenting how to build, how to end, how to world, their characters become new to each other." 

Tiana Reid, writer and academic from Toronto

"Set against a backdrop of post-apocalyptic continental drought and new experiments in water governance that this elicits, Shinners’ beautiful storytelling moves like a hydrological cycle: gathering us up, disbursing us, then returning us back to the flow. We are reminded that just because we are all bodies of water, made of the same water, connection is neither easy nor guaranteed – but doing the hard work of loving each other is worth it."

Astrida Neimanis, author of Bodies of Water: Posthuman Feminist Phenomenology (2017)

"The search for a home within ourselves and with loved ones in times of crisis is vulnerable and emotive, creating magnified moments of hope and joy."

Seraphina Edelmann, Poet and Writer

Print book. 228 pages. 5.25x8inches. Cover and layout design by madi giovina.

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