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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
A taut, surreal debut novel from Sweden, The Unit is a surprising celebration of love and life in the face of certain death. Dorrit Weger is a writer who has just turned 50. In middle age, without children, great professional success, or work in a necessary industry, she's considered "dispensable" and taken to live at the Second Reserve Unit for Biological Material. There she is expected to act as a human guinea pig, undergoing increasingly risky scientific experiments and donating her organs to "needed" members of society, until she makes her "final donation." But the world she enters is also a retreat from a world that has rejected those on the margins of society. In the "luxury slaughterhouse," Dorrit becomes part of a caring group of friends and even falls in love, causing her life to take an unexpected turn.
With a voice reminiscent of such disparate masters as Margaret Atwood and Ray Bradbury, Holmqvist has created a fascinating portrait of a stark society that cares only for its most productive members. The Unit explores how far society can go to shun those unwilling to conform, and how those exiled can create their own community of love and caring, even under the darkest of circumstances. (Fall 2009 Selection)