States of Emergency

States of Emergency

by Chris Knapp
States of Emergency

States of Emergency

by Chris Knapp


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“That was the lesson: that what so often passed for love was mostly a desperate construct of your own vanity, a steamroller with which the self pressed the other flat until a smooth, reflective surface was all that remained…” 

In the summer of 2015, a young couple—an American and his French wife—undergo fertility treatment in Paris. They settle in to wait for the results as a heatwave paralyzes the city. 

As the heat rises, a state of emergency is declared and tempers flare, leaving cracks in the foundation of their marriage. In the months that follow, they find themselves navigating a confluence of world crises and historical forces that affect each in ways the other struggles to understand. 

Against this backdrop of existential dread, the fissures in their marriage widen as they confront  their everyday apocalypse. An ongoing conversation begins: one that moves backward and forward in time, swings between hope and despair, dry laughter and hard fury, all in an effort toward reconciliation. How will their conflicting ideas about how to build a life together—how to love each other—survive in the face of a future that’s collapsing before their eyes?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781961884045
Publisher: The Unnamed Press
Publication date: 09/03/2024
Pages: 300
Sales rank: 337,719
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 1.50(h) x 9.50(d)

About the Author

Chris Knapp's work has appeared in print in the Paris Review and the New England Review, and online at Granta and n+1, among others. He's been a work-study scholar at the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and earned an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Virginia. His novel, States of Emergency, is forthcoming from Unnamed Press. He lives in Paris with his wife, and teaches at the Sorbonne.

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