We're thrilled to announce the publication of Return on Investment, the delightfully strange and unsettling novel by Magdalena Waz, winner of the Fiction Attic Press Debut Novel Prize.
Praise for Return on Investment
"Waz’s darkly comic first novel reads like the birth of a brand-new genre—call it literature of the dystopian present—wherein a lost generation of post-college twenty-somethings struggle against debt, doubt, the loneliness of a constantly-connected world, and an out-of-control gig economy that leads to work as professional cuddlers, human breast pumps, and black-market milk runners. It’d be terrifying if it weren’t so damn funny, prescient if it weren’t precisely of the moment, absurd except for its searing recognition of the all-too-real . . . Return on Investment is an audacious, ambitious debut." –Joseph Bates, author of Tomorrowland: Stories
"Return on Investment is a coming-of-age tale unlike any I have ever read. A quartet of unlikely friends massively in debt and interminably adrift in the post-collegiate, post-recession, start-up economy. The wild scheme that joins them together somehow manages to both satirize and sympathetically explore that wobbling time between youth and adulthood. Swiftly told, at turns hilarious and poignant, Return on Investment is worth every second you put into it." David McGlynn, author of A Door in the Ocean
"In Return on Investment, Magdalena Waz brings to vivid life the mighty struggles and Millennial triumphs of a group of young Chicagoans graduating into the Great Recession. Waz’s writing is slyly ironic, her characters’ delightfully inappropriate first jobs, including human breast pump, are shrewdly presented, and their stories are irresistible. This is a superb first book." –Eric Goodman, author of Child of My Right Hand and Twelfth and Race
From the Publisher
Return on Investment is a smart, powerful novel about the uneasy intersection of human connection and commerce. The unforgettable characters in Return on Investment--motivated by love, lust, and economic necessity--make difficult and often surprising choices as they attempt to carve out a niche for themselves in a trying economy.
Laurie partially succeeds at becoming a human breast pump, a job that relies heavily on the natural and organic movement to convince new mothers that they don’t need machines to extract breast milk. But when the situation at her job goes sour, she devises a plan to work less and earn more. A dreamer at best and a steam-roller at worst, Laurie hopes to prove to the world that being in an office 9-5 is only for those without an imagination. Her second scheme draws a young housekeeper, a bachelorette party babysitter, and a data entry clerk into the business of manufactured intimacy, a business more dangerous than Laurie is willing to admit.
About the Author
Magdalena Waz's fiction and essays have appeared in Threadcount, The Collagist, and Rabbit Catastrophe Review. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from Miami University (Ohio) and currently lives in Brooklyn.