Top Shelf in July: CALIFORNIA by Edan Lepucki

california display

Y’all might recognize this month’s Top Shelf pick from The Colbert Report (and from recent posts right here on this very blog). California by Edan Lepucki is a debut post-apocalyptic novel coming out this month from Hachette Book Group, a publisher locked in a highly publicized struggle with an online retailer that has resulted in restricted access to Hachette’s titles. Stephen Colbert is having none of it and has used the power of his pulpit to not only champion California, but to also urge readers to purchase a copy from an independent bookstore and make this new post-apocalyptic novel a bestseller.

In the wake of Colbert’s support, and to show our own support for Edan, we shared Alex’s Top Shelf review of the book earlier in June. Here’s an excerpt:

“Lepucki manages to craft a rather low-key resolution that somehow feels more solid and pertinent than it could have in other hands. It definitely speaks to how many books I have read in the genre that build into eruptions to resolve the conflicts, featuring epic brawls or massive explosions, that I was surprised by this ending. I want to give credit to the author for resisting the temptation to wrap up everything she had built with a neat little bow or overplay the inherent drama being played out on the page by tacking on some grand finale. All the dynamic relationships between friends and families are earned by communicating, in confessions and boasts and admitting fears, so California stays true through its bittersweet ending. I was left wanting more, until I looked outside and remembered how close it comes to being so real.”

We’re thrilled to announce we’ll welcome Edan Lepucki here to BookPeople on Wednesday, July 30 at 7pm to read from and sign California. We hope you can join us to meet this wonderful new author. If you can’t make it, but would still like to support Edan, you can pre-order a signed, personalized copy of California via We ship worldwide!

Critical Praise for California: 

“It’s tempting to call this novel post-apocalyptic, but really, it’s about an apocalypse in progress, an apocalypse that might already be happening, one that doesn’t so much break life into before and after as unravel it bit by bit. Edan Lepucki tells her tale with preternatural clarity and total believability, in large part by focusing on the relationships — between husband and wife, brother and sister, parent and child — that are, it turns out, apocalypse-proof. Post-nothing. California is timeless.” —Robin Sloan, author of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore

“In her arresting debut novel, Edan Lepucki conjures a lush, intricate, deeply disturbing vision of the future, then masterfully exploits its dramatic possibilities.” —Jennifer Egan, author of A Visit from the Goon Squad

“An expansive, full-bodied and masterful narrative of humans caught in the most extreme situations, with all of our virtues and failings on full display: courage, cowardice, trust, betrayal, honor and expedience. The final eighty pages of this book gripped me as much as any fictional denouement I’ve encountered in recent years….I firmly believe that Edan Lepucki is on the cusp of a long, strong career in American letters.” —Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

2 thoughts on “Top Shelf in July: CALIFORNIA by Edan Lepucki

  1. “The final eighty pages of this book gripped me as much as any fictional denouement I’ve encountered in recent years….I”

    My sort of read.

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