The World Gives Way
A Ray Bradbury Prize for Science Fiction, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction FinalistIn a near-future world on the brink of collapse, a young woman born into servitude must seize her own freedom in this glittering debut with a brilliant twist--perfect for fans of Station Eleven, Karen Thompson Walker, and Naomi Alderman.
In fifty years, Myrra will be free.
Until then, she's a contract worker. Ever since she was five, her life and labor have belonged to the highest bidder on her contract--butchers, laundries, and now the powerful, secretive Carlyles.
But when one night finds the Carlyles dead, Myrra is suddenly free a lot sooner than she anticipated--and at a cost she never could have imagined. Burdened with the Carlyles' orphaned daughter and the terrible secret they died to escape, she runs. With time running out, Myrra must come face to face with the truth about her world--and embrace what's left before it's too late.
A sweeping novel with a darkly glimmering heart, The World Gives Way is an unforgettable portrait of a world in freefall, and the fierce drive to live even at the end of it all.
A New York Times Best Sci-Fi and Fantasy Novel of 2021
A Fortune Magazine Best Book of 2021
"A staggering marvel."--TheNew York Times
"The World Gives Way has a sweeping world rich in lore and an electric plot."--Brandon Taylor, Booker Prize-nominated author of Real Life
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About the Author
--Paul Harding, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Tinkers
"Marissa Levien's debut novel is a thrilling adventure, and in a moment when we're all looking for escape pods, this is a great one."
--Emma Straub, New York Times bestselling author of All Adults Here
"Marissa Levien's clever, humane debut asks a question that feels increasingly central in These Times: what do we do--what can we do--when we know the world is dying? If the stellar premise doesn't suck you in immediately (it will), the richly textured universe and indelible heroine will do the trick--and by the time you get to the final page, you'll be wishing that none of it had to end."
--Emily Temple, author of The Lightness
"The World Gives Way features some of the most ingenious world-building I've seen in ages, from class systems to grains of sand in the desert--but that's not what makes it special. The beating heart of this book is what Marissa Levien reveals about love, humanity, and our place in the universe."
--Rob Hart, author of The Warehouse
"A crackling post-apocalyptic novel and a literary stunner in the tradition of Station Eleven, about both the bang and the whimper at the end of the world."
--Susan Scarf Merrell, author of Shirley
'Infinite in scope yet intimately told, The World Gives Way is a meditation on justice, mortality, and the power of connection both in the face of crisis and in the everyday mundane. A stunning debut from an author to watch."
--Hannah Whitten, author of For the Wolf
"Myrra is the heroine readers need now, brave, unstoppable and full of hope, even as the world around her breaks apart. The World Gives Way is one of the most imaginative, thrilling and meaningful novels of the year."
--Julia Fierro, author of Cutting Teeth