A Brutal Design

Product Details
$19.00  $17.67
Lanternfish Press
Publish Date
5.35 X 8.0 X 0.48 inches | 0.61 pounds

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About the Author

Zachary C. Solomon is from Miami, Florida. He received an MFA from Brooklyn College, where he was a Truman Capote fellow. He lives with his wife, the novelist Mandy Berman, and their daughter in New York's Hudson Valley.


"Part utopia, part dystopia, Zachary C. Solomon's smart, accomplished novel wears its ambitions proudly on its sleeves. A Brutal Design is attentive to the brutalities of history even as it trains its eyes on the future. It's an engrossing and powerful debut."

----Joshua Henkin, author of Morningside Heights

"Through its magnetic and momentous descent into the darkness that lurks beneath the surface of the desert utopia Duma, A Brutal Design convincingly depicts the insidious way that ideological oppression can seep into the world around us. There were moments in Solomon's novel that truly frightened me, and yet, like its narrator, Samuel Zelnik, I found myself obsessively compelled to uncover its mysteries. This is a haunting, thought-provoking novel that shows a place where the senseless meets reality."

----Gabe Habash, author of Stephen Florida

"With searing prose and breakneck pace, A Brutal Design delves into the terrifying and prescient intersections of art, fascism, and belief in one's ideals. An uncompromising portrait of the human psyche and overflowing with philosophical depth, Solomon's debut impresses and stays with you, long after you finish the book."

----Soon Wiley, author of When We Fell Apart

"A Brutal Design is a deft blend of sci-fi, noir, and a dash of Sebald that examines our yearning for utopia. It is propelled by unease, yet funny and beautiful, too. Once I started reading it, I could not stop."

----Erin Somers, author of Stay Up With Hugo Best

"A Brutal Design is an absurdist, falling-down-the-rabbit-hole adventure packed with dark mysteries, startling images, and surreal encounters. At the same time, this book is keenly political, rich with implications for both the past and the future. Through his evocation of the ostensibly utopian city of Duma, Zachary C. Solomon deftly explores the relationships between art, bureaucracy, violence, and political control. This is an exhilarating and boldly original debut."

----Helen Phillips, author of The Need

"With commanding intelligence and dystopian foresight, A Brutal Design secures Zachary C. Solomon's place in the world of letters with a voice steeped in history, literature, art, and philosophy, and maturity beyond its years. His taut, elegantly written, and exquisitely bleak novel presciently pits fascism against dwindling humanity, asking: Do we value life little enough that we'd exchange it for "advancement and comfort"? This is a haunting, sinister, and brilliant debut."

----Sara Lippmann, author of Lech