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The Beautiful Bureaucrat: Extract

Posted 16th Jul 2018

‘A thrillingly original debut’ – Jenny Offill

‘Mesmerizing… the perfect kind of strange to keep your brain twisted into knots during a flight (think Kafka or Calvino)’ – ELLE

‘A fascinating and gruelling portrait of ordinary lives degraded by data input and defeat’ – Guardian

Helen Phillips’ sublime and chilling The Beautiful Bureaucrat is out today and we couldn’t be more excited to share this clever, eerie page-turner with you.

If the job market hadn’t been so bleak during that long, humid summer. Josephine might have been discouraged from taking the administrative position in a remote part of town. As the days inch by, she becomes increasingly anxious – the drone of keyboards echoes eerily down the long halls, her boss has terrible breath, and there are cockroaches in the bath of her sub-let. When one evening her husband Joseph disappears and then returns, offering no explanation as to his whereabouts, her creeping unease soon turns to dread…

Can’t wait to plunge yourself into The Database?

Read the first chapter now >

You can purchase your copy of The Beautiful Bureaucrat on our online shop here.

Helen Phillips’ breathtaking collection of short stories, Some Possible Solutions  is also published by Pushkin Press.