The Survivalists

Author: Cauley, Kashana

Publication Date:

January 2023



Original language and publisher

English | Soft Skull

Territories Handled

English (World)


Literary Fiction

The Survivalists

Author: Cauley, Kashana


Beautifully written . . . With language that is smart, economical, and clear, she renders a story that is about relationships and our culture. I love this character Aretha, her observations, her arguments, her irony. — Percival Everett, author of The Trees

The brilliant and outrageously funny Kashana Cauley shines her laser on all the things that make our country suck, but her wit and calm intelligence make The Survivalists such a warm hot toddy of a novel. — Gary Shteyngart, author of Our Country Friends

A single Black lawyer puts her career and personal moral code at risk when she moves in with her coffee entrepreneur boyfriend and his doomsday-prepping roommates in a novel that’s packed with tension, curiosity, humor, and wit from a writer with serious comedy credentials.

In the wake of her parents’ death, Aretha, a habitually single Black lawyer, has had only one obsession in life—success—until she falls for Aaron, a coffee entrepreneur. Moving into his Brooklyn brownstone to live along with his Hurricane Sandy-traumatized, illegal-gun-stockpiling, optimized-soy-protein-eating, bunker-building roommates, Athena finds that her dreams of making partner are slipping away, replaced by an underground world, one of selling guns and training for a doomsday that’s maybe just around the corner.

For readers of Victor LaValle’s The Changeling, Paul Beatty’s The Sellout, and Zakiya Harris’s The Other Black Girl, The Survivalists is a darkly humorous novel from a smart and relevant new literary voice that’s packed with tension, curiosity and wit, and unafraid to ask the questions most relevant to a new generation of Americans: Does it make sense to climb the corporate ladder? What exactly are the politics of gun ownership? And in a world where it’s nearly impossible for young people to earn enough money to afford stable housing, what does it take in order to survive?