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Gabriel Bump in Person

Join us on Wednesday, November 29 at 7 PM as Gabriel Bump presents his new novel, The New Naturals. Jeff Parker will join as conversation partner for this event. This is the December selection of the Odyssey First Editions Club.

About the Book

From the award-winning author of Everywhere You Don't Belong, a touching, timely novel about an attempt to found an underground utopia and the interwoven stories of those drawn to it
An abandoned restaurant on a hill off the highway in Western Massachusetts doesn't look like much. But to Rio, a young Black woman bereft after the loss of her newborn child, this hill becomes more than a safe haven—it becomes a place to start over. She convinces her husband to help her construct a society underground, somewhere safe, somewhere everyone can feel loved, wanted, and accepted, where the children learn actual history, where everyone has an equal shot.

She locates a Benefactor and soon their utopia begins to take shape. Two unhoused men hear about it and immediately begin their journey by bus from Chicago to get there. A young and disillusioned journalist stumbles upon it and wants in. And a former soccer player, having lost his footing in society, is persuaded to check it out too. But no matter how much these people all yearn for meaning and a sanctuary from the existential dread of life above the surface, what happens if this new society can't actually work? What then? 

From one of the most exciting new literary voices out there, The New Naturals is fresh and deeply perceptive, capturing the absurdity of life in the 21st century, for readers of Paul Beatty’s The Sellout and Jennifer Egan’s The Candy House. In this remarkable feat of imagination, Bump shows us that, ultimately, it is our love for and connection to each other that will save us.

About the Author

Gabriel Bump grew up in South Shore, Chicago. He received his MFA in fiction from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His debut novel, Everywhere You Don't Belong, was a New York Times Notable Book of 2020 and has won the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award for Fiction, the Heartland Booksellers Award for Fiction, and the Black Caucus of the American Library Association's First Novelist Award. Bump teaches at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

About the Conversation Partner

Jeff Parker's most recent work, a novella about an ahistorical meeting between Edgar Allan Poe and Nikolai Gogol, is forthcoming in Proper Imposters: Four Novellas in 2024. He teaches prose in the MFA Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and he is the Co-Founder and Director of the DISQUIET International Literary Program in Lisbon, Portugal.


To register, please click here

Event date: 
Wednesday, November 29, 2023 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
9 College St
Suite 4
South Hadley, MA 01075
Staff Pick Badge
The New Naturals: A Novel By Gabriel Bump Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616208806
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Algonquin Books - November 14th, 2023

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