Severance Radio is an on-air book club dissecting Ling Ma’s satirical, dystopian novel Severance. The novel is a moving family story that explores loneliness, corporate monotony, and survival in the midst of a global health crisis.
In this episode, novelist Lisa Ko interviews Ling Ma, the author of Severance. Two masters of the novel discuss the significance of Severance in the time of COVID-19.
Ling Ma is a writer of mostly fiction. Her novel Severance (FSG) received the Kirkus Prize, the NYPL Young Lions Fiction Award, and the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award. It was a finalist for the Pen / Hemingway Award, and named a New York Times Notable Book. Her writings have appeared in Granta, Playboy, Vice, Ninth Letter, ACM and others. She holds an MFA from Cornell University, and an AB from the University of Chicago.
Lisa Ko is the author of The Leavers, which was a 2017 National Book Award for Fiction finalist, won the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, and was a finalist for the 2018 PEN/Hemingway Award and the 2017 Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Award. The Leavers was named a best book of the year by NPR, Entertainment Weekly, BuzzFeed, The Los Angeles Times, Electric Literature, and others. Her writing has appeared in Best American Short Stories 2016, The New York Times, The Believer, BuzzFeed, O. Magazine, and elsewhere. She has been awarded fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and the MacDowell Colony, among others. She is a Spring 2020 Shearing Fellow at the Beverly Rogers, Carol C. Black Mountain Institute at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Born in Queens and raised in Jersey, she lives in Brooklyn.