112th: Rachel Heng on Suicide Club with Marisa Siegel
In Rachel Heng's debut set in near future New York City--where lives last three hundred years and the pursuit of immortality is all-consuming--Lea must choose between her estranged father and her chance to live forever.
Lea Kirino is a "Lifer," which means that a roll of the genetic dice has given her the potential to live forever--if she does everything right. And Lea is an overachiever. She's a successful trader on the New York exchange--where instead of stocks, human organs are now bought and sold--she has a beautiful apartment, and a fianc who rivals her in genetic perfection. And with the right balance of HealthTech(TM), rigorous juicing, and low-impact exercise, she might never die.
But Lea's perfect life is turned upside down when she spots her estranged father on a crowded sidewalk. His return marks the beginning of her downfall as she is drawn into his mysterious world of the Suicide Club, a network of powerful individuals and rebels who reject society's pursuit of immortality, and instead choose to live--and die--on their own terms. In this future world, death is not only taboo; it's also highly illegal. Soon Lea is forced to choose between a sanitized immortal existence and a short, bittersweet time with a man she has never really known, but who is the only family she has left in the world.
Rachel Heng's debut novel, Suicide Club, was published by Henry Holt in July 2018, will be translated in eight languages worldwide and has been featured as a most anticipated summer read by ELLE, Gizmodo, Bitch Media, The Rumpus, NYLON and The Irish Times. Her short fiction has received a Pushcart Prize Special Mention and Prairie Schooner's Jane Geske Award, and has been published in Glimmer Train, The Offing, Prairie Schooner and elsewhere. Rachel is currently a James A. Michener Fellow at the Michener Center for Writers, UT Austin.
Marisa Siegel currently lives, writes, and edits near NYC but thinks twenty times a day about heading back west. She is Editor-in-Chief and owner of The Rumpus. Find her on Twitter at @MARISASAYSTWEET.