Shortlisted for the 2021 International Booker Prize
The near-distant future. Millions of kilometres from Earth.The crew of the Six-Thousand Ship consists of those who were born, and those who were made. Those who will die, and those who will not. When the ship takes on a number of strange objects from the planet New Discovery, the crew is perplexed to find itself becoming deeply attached to them, and human and humanoid employees alike start aching for the same things: warmth and intimacy. Loved ones who have passed. Shopping and child-rearing. Our shared, far-away Earth, which now only persists in memory. Gradually, the crew members come to see their work in a new light, and each employee is compelled to ask themselves whether they can carry on as before - and what it means to be truly living. Structured as a series of witness statements compiled by a workplace commission, Ravn's crackling prose is as chilling as it is moving, as exhilarating as it is foreboding. Wracked by all kinds of longing, The Employees probes into what it means to be human, emotionally and ontologically, while simultaneously delivering an overdue critique of a life governed by work and the logic of productivity.
"Everything I'm looking for in a novel. I was obsessed from the first page to the last. A strange, beautiful, deeply intelligent and provocative investigation into humanity. The Employees is an alarmingly brilliant work of art." - Max Porter; "The Employees is not only a disconcertingly quotidian space opera; it's also an audacious satire of corporate language and the late-capitalist workplace, and a winningly abstracted investigation into what it means to be human." - The Guardian; "What might result if Ursula K. Le Guin and Nell Zink had a baby." - Tank Magazine
- Commended for Warwick Prize for Women in Translation 2021
- Commended for DUBLIN Literary Award 2022
- Short-listed for International Booker Prize 2021
Dimensions: 180mm x 120mm x 12mm