Ling Ma was in the last months of a tedious office job when she began writing her first novel . The company was downsizing, and as her coworkers got laid off, the office became "silent and desolate," Ma recalls. Eventually Ma lost her job, too. The first few weeks were liberating — she called her unemployment check her "arts fellowship" — and she turned her attention to her debut novel. Severance is a satire about immigration, 21st-century office work ... and also the apocalypse. Candace Chen, the daughter of Chinese immigrants, is a production coordinator for a Bible manufacturer in China. She works out of New York and when a fatal disease wipes out most of the U.S. population, Candace is the last one left at the office. Those who fall ill with Shen...
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In Satirical 'Severance,' A Stricken Country Works Itself To Death