May Book Club Selection: 'The Only Ones' by Carola Dibbell

LitReactor Book Club

Every month here at LitReactor, we celebrate reading with a new selection in our Book Club. For May, we will be reading and discussing The Only Ones by Carola Dibbell.

Synopsis: Inez wanders a post-pandemic world, strangely immune to disease, making her living by volunteering as a test subject. She is hired to provide genetic material to a grief-stricken, affluent mother, who lost all four of her daughters within four short weeks. This experimental genetic work is policed by a hazy network of governmental ethics committees, and threatened by the Knights of Life, religious zealots who raze the rural farms where much of this experimentation is done.

When the mother backs out at the last minute, Inez is left responsible for the product, which in this case is a baby girl, Ani. Inez must protect Ani, who is a scientific breakthrough, keeping her alive, dodging authorities and religious fanatics, and trying to provide Ani with the childhood that Inez never had, which means a stable home and an education.

With a stylish voice influenced by years of music writing, The Only Ones is a time-old story, tender and iconic, about how much we love our children, however they come, as well as a sly commentary on class, politics, and the complexities of reproductive technology.

Author: Carola Dibbell is a highly regarded rock critic whose fiction has appeared in the New Yorker, the Paris Review, Fence, and Black Clock. Writing about books as well as music, Dibbell was a Village Voice contributor for many years. The Only Ones is her debut novel.


Discussion for The Only Ones will kick off on May 1st, but you should pick up the book and start reading ASAP! (We've provided a handy link below). Once you're locked and loaded, you can announce your presence in the Book Club. (No invitation needed!)  That thread is where all discussion about the book will go down.

If you read our April Book Club selection, Skullcrack City by Jeremy Robert Johnson, make sure you check out that thread as discussion there has officially started.

Happy reading!

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Image of The Only Ones
Author: Carola Dibbell
Price: $12.79
Publisher: Two Dollar Radio (2015)
Binding: Paperback, 344 pages
Jacey Cockrobin

News by Joshua Chaplinsky

Joshua Chaplinsky is the Managing Editor of LitReactor.com. He is the author of ‘Kanye West—Reanimator’ and the story collection 'Whispers in the Ear of A Dreaming Ape.' His short fiction has been published by Vice, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Thuglit, Severed Press, Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing, Clash Books, Pantheon Magazine and Broken River Books. Follow him on Twitter at @jaceycockrobin. More info at joshuachaplinsky.com.

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