Preparation for the Next Life by Atticus Lish

78%

9 Critic Reviews

But this novel is nothing less than a triumph, worthy of every heroic adjective a critic could throw. It is a reminder, plain and simple, of what fiction is for.
-Financial Times

Synopsis

Zou Lei, orphan of the desert, migrates to work in America and finds herself slaving in New York's kitchens. She falls in love with a young man whose heart has been broken in another desert. A new life may be possible if together they can survive homelessness, lockup, and the young man's nightmares, which may be more prophecy than madness.

 

About Atticus Lish

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Atticus Lish: Atticus Lish lives in New York.
 
Published November 2, 2016 by Tyrant Books. 424 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, War, Literature & Fiction, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Children's Books. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Preparation for the Next Life
All: 9 | Positive: 8 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Above average
on Nov 13 2014

The book feels, perhaps, a little too long, a little too overwhelming—in ways both intentional and not—but it also shows the scary truth about who’s allowed to prosper in this country...

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Publishers Weekly

Good
on Sep 19 2014

Zou Lei and Skinner have their budding relationship tested by insurmountable odds, and their own foibles and peculiarities are rendered with vivid detail. Lish’s prose is at once raw and disciplined, and every word feels necessary.

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Clancy Martin on Dec 17 2014

This is the dystopian future Lish imagines for America’s hate-love relationship with the Muslim world. We are going through the motions of doing the right thing; we have some kind of misplaced hope; but the end, a foregone conclusion, will be as bloody and savage as the beginning.

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Dwight Garner on Nov 12 2014

Neither Zou Lei nor Skinner is particularly religious. Yet she is a Muslim, and “Preparation for the Next Life” takes its name from a saying on the doorway of a mosque she enters at one point. This novel helps one understand the appeal of ready-made answers to life’s vexations.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Justin Cartwright on Feb 14 2016

This is a wonderfully ambitious book, demanding and unflinching, and one of the finest novels I have read in years.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Tom Cox on May 17 2015

You might say that Preparations for the Next Life was an anti-Manhattan novel, kicking typical tales of artsy, east-coast intelligentsia romance into a dumpster. But its real target, sought out with a heat-seeking precision, is far weightier, and that is America itself.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Patrick Flanery on Apr 08 2015

Lish’s tough lyricism ultimately works to dissolve the barrier between book and reader, co-opting us into a great, multi-ethnic nomadic clan.

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NY Journal of Books

Above average
Reviewed by Gregory J. Wilkin on Nov 18 2014

Not since Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain have such arduously yearning treks been made through maddening, heartbreaking obstructions in the name of love.

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Financial Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Erica Wagner on Mar 27 2015

But this novel is nothing less than a triumph, worthy of every heroic adjective a critic could throw. It is a reminder, plain and simple, of what fiction is for.

Read Full Review of Preparation for the Next Life | See more reviews from Financial Times

Reader Rating for Preparation for the Next Life
73%

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