Reward System by Jem Calder
BOOKBAR SAYS: The recurring characters in this six-story collection give Jem Calder's fiction debut the feel of a novel. Following the separate exploits of two exes a year or so after their breakup, Calder uses smartphones and internet activity to illuminate his prose, the trappings of the time to explore timeless concerns of longing and loneliness. It is sometimes an eerie, disquieting read; a quote from Patricia Lockwood's No One Is Talking About came to mind as I was reading: 'What do you mean you've been spying on me, with this thing in my hand that is an eye?' -Thom
For fans of Patricia Lockwood and Ben Lerner, audacious fictions of a generation wondering: what now? 'Reward System is an exhilarating and beautiful book by an extraordinarily gifted writer. Reading these stories, I found myself thinking newly and differently about contemporary life.' SALLY ROONEY Julia has landed a fresh start - at a 'pan-European' restaurant. 'Imagine that,' says her mother.
'I'm imagining.'Nick is flirting with sobriety and nobody else. Did you know: adults his age are now more likely to live with their parents than a romantic partner?Life should have started to take shape by now - but instead we're trying on new versions of ourselves, swiping left and right, searching for a convincing answer to that question: 'What do you do?'Reward System is a set of ultra-contemporary and electrifyingly fresh fictions about a generation of the cusp; the story of two people enmeshed in Zooms and lockdowns, loneliness and love.