A pandemic has devastated the planet, sorting humanity into two types: the uninfected and the infected, the living and the living dead. The worst of the plague is now past, and Manhattan is slowly being resettled. Armed forces have successfully reclaimed the island south of Canal Street – aka ‘Zone One’ and teams of civilian volunteers are clearing out the remaining infected ‘stragglers’.
Mark Spitz is a member of one of these taskforces and over three surreal days he undertakes the mundane mission of malfunctioning zombie removal, the rigours of Post-Apocalyptic Stress Disorder, and attempting to come to terms with a fallen world.
But then things start to go terribly wrong…
When I finished reading this exhilarating, heartbreaking book, I realised that, in fact, I'd just read one of the best literary novels of the year
Profoundly thoughtful... Zone One is a dark mirror, to be sure, but there is no doubt it is our own age that is being scrutinised here
Punchy cocktail of horror, comedy and social critique
A dark futuristic satire laced with fiendish humour
Often simultaneously arch and sombre, Whitehead's narrative flares with a sociological intelligence
We asked five Penguin authors whose work explores racism, in fiction and nonfiction, to share the books they feel are crucial to understanding – and then acting on – racial injustice at home and worldwide.