Meet Us by the Roaring Sea: A Novel (Paperback)

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“A spellbinding book.” —Megha Majumdar

“Akil Kumarasamy is a singular talent.” —Cathy Park Hong

In the near future, a young woman finds her mother’s body starfished on the kitchen floor in Queens and sets out on a journey through language, archives, artificial intelligence, and TV for a way back into herself. She begins to translate an old manuscript about a group of female medical students beset by a drought and living at the edge of a war as they create a new way of existing to help the people around them. As she works on the translation, her life and the manuscript become entangled.

Later, the arrival of a childhood friend, a stranger, and an unusual AI project force her to question her own moral compass. How involved are we in the suffering of others? What does real compassion look like? How do you make a better world?

Written in vivid and pulsating prose that alternates between the young woman’s life and passages of the translated manuscript, Akil Kumarasamy’s Meet Us by the Roaring Sea is a remarkable, genre-bending exploration of memory, technology, friendship, love, consciousness, and the costs of caring for others in an age when we are caught within the swamps of our own minds.

About the Author

Akil Kumarasamy is the author of the linked story collection Half Gods, which was named a New York Times Editors’ Choice, was awarded the Bard Fiction Prize and the Story Prize Spotlight Award, and was a finalist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Short Story Collection. Her work has appeared in Harper’s Magazine, American Short Fiction, BOMB, and other publications. She has received fellowships from the University of East Anglia, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Yaddo, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. She is an assistant professor in the Rutgers University-Newark MFA program.

Praise For…

"Kumarasamy’s quirky language and wit are dazzling . . . [Her] humor is the way I dig it—deep—extending an opportunity for the reader to take a beat before absorbing the novel’s more sobering themes." Melissa Chadburn, The New York Times Book Review

“[Meet Us by the Roaring Sea] feels beautifully balanced—chapters threaded together nimbly, the translated manuscript and the protagonist’s life echoing each other . . . Kumarasamy is also such an assured writer that you trust her completely, sentence by sentence . . . A pleasure to read.” —Ilana Masad, LA Times

"If you want a post-climate-change novel that goes all the way weird, look no further than Meet Us by the Roaring Sea . . . The story is a kind of multilayered dream sequence that asks big questions about civilization, memory and survival . . . Kumarasamy’s gorgeously written book captures the terror of living through a bewildering disruption." —Charlie Jane Anders, The Washington Post

"Employing the uncommon second-person and first-person plural points of view, Kumarasamy complicates our sense of intimacy and distance with her characters. An ambitious scope, but such capaciousness also allows for dynamic characters, ideas, histories and possibilities." —Jenny Bhatt, NPR (Best Books of 2022)

"For all that book's prodigious skill and deft structure, readers of Half Gods will not be prepared for the uncanny brilliance of [Kumarasamy's] first novel . . . [Meet Us by the Roaring Sea is] a masterpiece that more than confirms the promise of Half Gods. Kumarasamy is one of more exciting young fiction writers at work right now." Jonathan Russell Clark, Star Tribune

"Set in a future of eye scans, carbon credits and advanced AI, [Meet Us by the Roaring Sea] nonetheless feels surprisingly like home—even as it tests the boundaries of self and story . . . A dizzying alchemy of past and present, love and truth, death and memory." —Dana Dunham, Scientific American

"An ambitious, classification-defying novel that straddles the past and the future and offers deeply thoughtful commentary on the lines defining personal and collective identities . . . A compelling read that tackles some of the most urgent questions of our times." —Shoba Viswanathan, Booklist

"The mesmerizing and odd novel Meet Us by the Roaring Sea by Akil Kumarasamy is set partially in the near future in Queens—where a young woman begins to translate a forgotten manuscript about a group of girls who once trained together as medical students in the midst of a war. It’s haunting and beautiful." —

"Dazzling . . . Kumarasamy’s gorgeous prose and quiet meditations on memory will enthrall readers. This ambitious effort has much to offer." Publishers Weekly

"Akil Kumarasamy's wild, playful, terrifying, grief-struck novel Meet Us by the Roaring Sea offers an unsettling vision of the future that rises from profound contemplation of history. A spellbinding book." —Megha Majumdar, author of A Burning

"Akil Kumarasamy is a singular talent. In her novel Meet Us By the Roaring Sea, Kumarasamy has braided together stories that are original, fresh, and breathtakingly imaginative as she reflects on the ethics of care in the age of digital capitalism. I love this book." —Cathy Park Hong, author of Minor Feelings

Meet Us by the Roaring Sea is a rare gift from one of our most brilliant writers. Akil Kumarasamy’s prose is an explosive mix of ancient wisdom laced with foreboding futurism. This deeply intelligent novel will expand your perception of history, gender, the atrocities of war and the interconnectedness of our human story.” —Kali Fajardo-Anstine, author of Woman of Light

"Meet Us By the Roaring Sea is a genre-bending marvel. Beginning in familial loss and transforming into a complex, often thrilling journey that follows the novel’s deep, compelling inner logic, Akil Kumarasamy’s newest novel is an exemplar of contemporary fiction while also heralding the literature of tomorrow." —John Keene, author of Counternarratives

Product Details
ISBN: 9781250872852
ISBN-10: 1250872855
Publisher: Picador
Publication Date: August 22nd, 2023
Pages: 304
Language: English