Emerson alum Laura van den Berg’s debut novel earned its space on the “most anticipated” lists at the BBC and Time Out New York. Following two well-received story collections, the O. Henry Award winner’s first foray into long-form prose is an excellent one, in which she gives voice to Joy, a troubled young woman who is addicted to the cough medicines she steals from her dead-end grocery store job—the result of a life spent in foster homes. When a mysterious epidemic sweeps the nation, she finds herself immune and, for the first time, finds a purpose. Or does she? Van den Berg weaves a darkly surreal, dystopian tale that is as strange as it is engrossing.