Ripe: A Novel (Hardcover)

Ripe: A Novel By Sarah Rose Etter Cover Image
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NATIONAL BESTSELLER * Named a Best Book of 2023 by Time, Huffington Post, Kirkus, and more * A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice * A Roxane Gay Audacious Book Club Selection * A Marie Claire Book Club Pick

A surreal novel with “a dark, delicious edge” (Time) about a woman in Silicon Valley who must decide how much she’s willing to give up for success—from an award-winning writer whose work Roxane Gay calls “utterly unique and remarkable.”

A year into her dream job at a cutthroat Silicon Valley start-up, Cassie finds herself trapped in a corporate nightmare. Between the long hours, toxic bosses, and unethical projects, she also struggles to reconcile the glittering promise of a city where obscene wealth lives alongside abject poverty and suffering. Ivy League grads complain about the snack selection from a conference room with a view of unhoused people bathing in the bay. Start-up burnouts leap into the paths of commuter trains, and men literally set themselves on fire in the streets.

Though isolated, Cassie is never alone. From her earliest memory, a miniature black hole has been her constant companion. It feeds on her depression and anxiety, growing or shrinking in relation to her distress. The black hole watches, but it also waits. Its relentless pull draws Cassie ever closer as the world around her unravels.

When she ends up unexpectedly pregnant at the same time her CEO’s demands cross into illegal territory, Cassie must decide whether the tempting fruits of Silicon Valley are really worth it. Sharp but vulnerable, unsettling yet darkly comic, Ripe portrays one millennial woman’s journey through our late-capitalist hellscape and offers a brilliantly incisive look at the absurdities of modern life.

About the Author

Sarah Rose Etter is the author of the chapbook Tongue Party and The Book of X, winner of a Shirley Jackson Award for best novel. Her work has appeared in TimeGuernicaBOMB, the Bennington ReviewThe CutVICE, and elsewhere. She has been awarded residences at the Jack Kerouac House, the Disquiet International program in Portugal, and the Gullkistan in Iceland. She earned her BA in English from Pennsylvania State University and her MFA in fiction from Rosemont College. She lives in Los Angeles. For more info, visit

Praise For…

"Surreal . . . visceral . . . Ripe has a dark, delicious edge." —TIME

“Sharp . . . absorbing . . . unforgettable . . . Etter’s exquisite prose powers the book. . . . [She] expertly diverts the novel from neat or didactic tropes. . . . [and] accomplishes what we seek in fiction: a deeply human connection.” —New York Times Book Review, a Best California Book of the Year

"A dark look at the underbelly of capitalism. . . . Sarah Rose Etter is a prophet for the sad girls." —NYLON

“A novel like no other. . . . Etter’s work is undoubtedly surreal, but then so is American life today. She knows how to channel its contradictions because she lives them. . . . Ripe hits very close to home.” —Los Angeles Times

"A masterclass in creating tension. . . . This is the kind of novel that reminds us that the apocalypse is now. Dystopia is here." —Roxane Gay

"It’s impossible to not feel pulled into Sarah Rose Etter’s Ripe, a beautifully paced 2023 novel featuring an intimate inner voice and a surreal, sinister plot. . . . At times darkly funny, this is a razor-sharp and honest portrayal of late-stage capitalism in the tech sphere." —Huffington Post, Best Books of 2023

"An explosive narrative of a woman coming undone as the world burns. . . . A deliciously bitter irony pervades. . . . A scathing look at corporate greed and its many dire consequences, this is deeply felt and cathartic.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"At once grim and playful, Ripe succeeds where other dystopian novels sometimes fail, by emphasizing the personal and particular agony of a single frazzled rat in the capitalist maze." Philadelphia Inquirer

"[Etter] offer[s] catharsis and an undeniable voice that makes the book easy to devour." —Observer

“An existential page-turner . . . super dark and very funny . . . Etter yanks you into Cassie’s deep, meaningless void, and I’ve never had a more enjoyable time wading through this specific level of hell.” Jezebel

“Etter opens Ripe with an onslaught of visceral imagery that stays at a fever pitch all the way through. . . . In a weird way, reading Ripe feels like being hit over the head with a cast-iron frying pan, then willingly going back for more. . . . clear-eyed . . . harrowing . . . powerful." San Francisco Chronicle

"Etter tells this gothic tale of twenty-first-century anomie, isolation, and despair in potent, fast-paced passages that are rich with fairytale-esque drama and sharp with parable-esque restraint. . . . cathartic, addictive, delicious." Chicago Review of Books

“A poignantly tragic, absurdist view of the 'late-capitalist hellscape' that is grind culture. . . . [A] glorious sucker punch of a second novel. . . . It’s a razor-sharp commentary on the relentlessness of tech culture and millennial striver conditioning.” Shondaland

"A tense, vivid dystopian view of a capitalist America. . . . A searing satire of corporate culture and how we deal with the world around us when it feels like it’s burning . . . thoughtful and necessary." —Our Culture, Best Books of 2023

“[An] astonishing tour de force. . . . Masterfully juxtaposing 'wild amounts of wealth' with 'extreme poverty and displacement,' Etter examines deep inequities in an image obsessed, capitalist society. Her biting social commentary layers horror with dark comedy, using vivid imagery and striking language to great effect." Booklist (starred review)

“A fresh voice, Etter, winner of the Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novel for The Book of X, will undoubtedly cement her place in the literary scene with this one.” —Zibby Owens, Good Morning America

“HOLY SHIT, this book wrecked me!” —Samantha Irby, New York Times bestselling author of Quietly Hostile

"A lurid, tense, and compelling novel. . . . Etter builds a lush and decaying landscape around a woman with an impossible affliction." —Kirkus (starred review), Best Books of 2023

"Sarah Rose Etter is a wonder, and this novel is a knife to the heart." —Carmen Maria Machado, author of Her Body and Other Parties

"An absolute must read if you love an unravelling main protagonist. . . . Unsettling, tense, and funny . . . we think you’ll love this one." —Glamour (UK)

"One of the best novels of the year. . . . Etter is proving to be one of the most talented novelists of her generation." —Colorado Sun
Product Details
ISBN: 9781668011638
ISBN-10: 1668011638
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date: July 11th, 2023
Pages: 288
Language: English