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Last Day

Domenica Ruta



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06 January 2021
The fates of a cast of seemingly unconnected people converge during the celebration of an ancient holiday in a thought-provoking debut that brings to mind such novels as Station Eleven and The Age of Miracles.

In Domenica Ruta's profoundly original debut novel, the end of the world comes every year. Or at least it's supposed to. On May 28, humanity comes together to anticipate the planet's demise-and to celebrate as if the day were truly their last.

Sarah is a bookish teenager infatuated with Kurt, a tattoo artist, whom she met at her parents' Last Day celebration a year earlier. Kurt is still haunted with guilt over his role in the death of his young love and wants to make holiday amends to her family. Karen is a misfit with a dysfunctional background who works at the local YMCA, where she keeps getting into trouble-especially when she sets off to find a long-lost adoptive brother. Her friend Rosette has left the Jehovah's Witnesses to follow a new pastor at the Kingdom of God, where she brings Karen on this fateful Last Day. Meanwhile, in space, a group of international astronauts-an American, a Russian, and a billionaire Japanese space tourist-observe Last Day from afar.

With sparkling wit, dazzling vividness, and wild imagination, Last Day is an exciting introduction of a literary talent-and by the end a haunting meditation on the fate of humanity and our planet.
Imprint:   Miscellaneous
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 203mm,  Width: 132mm,  Spine: 1mm
Weight:   1g
ISBN:   9780525510833
ISBN 10:   0525510834
Pages:   272
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Domenica Ruta is the author of the celebrated memoir With or Without You. Raised in Danvers, Massachusetts, she is a graduate of Oberlin College and holds an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin. She has been awarded residencies at Yaddo, MacDowell, Blue Mountain Center, Jentel, Hedgebrook, and the Tisch School for the Arts. Her short fiction has appeared in Epoch and the Indiana Review.

Reviews for Last Day

A darkly glittering novel . . . Ruta, who is also the author of a best-selling memoir, With or Without You, deeply sympathizes with the damaged and their worlds. . . . Despite the heavy subject matter, comic moments leaven the book. --The New York Times In this woven novel, we humans are love, are destruction, are wish and want. Domenica Ruta has created a portrait of humanity in a moment that is both the end and the beginning, and this novel is urgent and true and filled with such beauty. --Ramona Ausubel, author of Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty and No One Is Here Except All of Us Domenica Ruta's empathy is broad and deep, her prose fine-grained, her humor sharp but tender. Last Day is a life-affirming antidote to these pre-apocalyptic times. --Teddy Wayne, author of Loner Domenica Ruta has collected seven disconnected lives--each one heartbreaking and hilarious, flawed and exalted--and masterfully ties them together using rituals of loss and celebration. Last Day travels from outer space panoramas to palm-sized minutia, every paragraph punctuated with curious truths. I devoured this book and, much like the world itself, I didn't want it to end. --Adam Nemett, author of We Can Save Us All Last Day is a galaxy unto itself, a profound and incisive slice of our world on the edge of its inevitable end from a brilliant voice in American fiction. --Amelia Gray, author of Isadora After making a splash with her memoir, With or Without You, Ruta returns with an inventive first novel. . . . An entertaining and clever speculative tale. --Booklist A beautiful portrait of humanity in the shadow of a dying Earth . . . Ruta delicately sketches the large cast of characters--as well as their dreams, fears, and failures--with care. She's able to pinpoint certain universal feelings with precision. --Kirkus Reviews

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