From an award-winning writer whose work Roxane Gay calls “utterly unique and remarkable” comes a surreal novel about a woman in Silicon Valley who must decide how much she’s willing to give up for success—for fans of My Year of Rest and Relaxation and Her Body and Other Parties.
by Sarah Rose Etter
Scribner, July 2023
(via Neon Literary)
A year into her dream job at a cutthroat Silicon Valley start-up, Cassie finds herself trapped in a corporate nightmare. Between the long hours, toxic bosses, and unethical projects, she also struggles to reconcile the glittering promise of a city where obscene wealth lives alongside abject poverty and suffering. Ivy League grads complain about the snack selection from a conference room with a view of houseless people bathing in the bay. Start-up burnouts leap into the paths of commuter trains, and men literally set themselves on fire in the streets.
Though isolated, Cassie is never alone. From her earliest memory, a miniature black hole has been her constant companion. It feeds on her depression and anxiety, growing or shrinking in relation to her distress. The black hole watches, but it also waits. Its relentless pull draws Cassie ever closer as the world around her unravels.
When her CEO’s demands cross an illegal threshold and she ends up unexpectedly pregnant, Cassie must decide whether the tempting fruits of Silicon Valley are really worth it. Sharp but vulnerable, funny yet unsettling, RIPE portrays one millennial woman’s journey through our late-capitalist hellscape and offers a brilliantly incisive look at the absurdities of modern life.
« Sarah Rose Etter is a wonder, and this novel is a knife to the heart. » —Carmen Maria Machado, author of Her Body and Other Parties
« RIPE is exactly the kind of book I want to read: astoundingly bold, terrifically haunting, and deeply human. Etter refuses to pull any punches here, asking us to look directly at the nightmares we sometimes agree to live with in exchange for comfort and security. Reading this book felt like pressing repeatedly on a bruise; the most pleasurable kind of pain. Ripe is a dazzlingly gorgeous novel and Sarah Rose Etter is truly one hell of a writer. » —Kristen Arnett, New York Times bestselling author of Mostly Dead Things
Sarah Rose Etter is the author of the chapbook Tongue Party and The Book of X, winner of a Shirley Jackson Award for best novel. Her work has appeared in Time, Guernica, BOMB, the Bennington Review, The Cut, VICE, and elsewhere. She has been awarded residences at the Jack Kerouac House, the Disquiet International program in Portugal, and the Gullkistan in Iceland. She earned her BA in English from Pennsylvania State University and her MFA in fiction from Rosemont College. She lives in Los Angeles.