Sandra Newman is the acclaimed author of the Bailey’s Prize-longlisted The Country of Ice Cream Star, The Only Good Thing Anyone Has Ever Done (shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award), and the much-loved The Heavens.
She joins us in June to celebrate her dazzling new novel The Men, a gripping, beautiful and disquieting novel of feminist utopias and impossible sacrifices that interrogates the dream of a perfect society and asks: what if the price of a better world was losing the person you love?
Jane Pearson is camping with her husband Leo and their five-year-old son Benjamin, deep in the California woods on an evening in late August. At the moment that she drifts to sleep outside the tent where Leo and Benjamin are preparing for bed, every single person with a Y chromosome vanishes from the world, disappearing from operating theatres mid-surgery, from behind the wheels of cars, from arguments and acts of love. Children, adults, even fetuses are gone in an instant. Leo and Benjamin are gone. No one knows why, how, or where. After the Disappearance, Jane enters a reality she barely recognises, where women must create new ways of living while coping with devastating grief. As people come together to rebuild depopulated industries and distribute scarce resources, Jane reunites with an old college girlfriend, Evangelyne Moreau, leader of the Commensalist Party of America, a rising political force in this new world.
Meanwhile, strange video footage called ‘The Men’ is being broadcast online showing images of the vanished men marching through barren, otherworldly landscapes. Is this just a hoax, or could it hold the key to the Disappearance?