Jonathan Lerner's novel Caught in a Still Place
everyone you knew
flared out in a
red aura of fever?
Of the few people left,
whom could you trust?
If community vanished,
could you forge a new one?
After the disaster,
will anything remain?
People came to Cape Harrier, at the desolate end of a two-lane, to get away. Now it's society that's gone away, decimated by ecological crisis and an unnamed disease. In a landscape littered with physical and psychological wreck- age, the few survivors must pull together and go on. Their environment is benign enough. Are they strong enough?
Jaydie is competent but distracted, unreachable. Young Sylvia has been rendered mute by trauma. Elderly Miss Audrey fades in and out; nobody wants to say it, but she’s a heavy drag. Julian luxuriates in the new solitude – but he seethes with anger at his lover Richard, who has run away.
Part prediction, part parable, Caught in a Still Place, wrote Cyberpunk Slipstream Book Reviews, is "bleakly cautionary but suffused with an uncanny optimism." Debris called it, "A minor classic of a novel. Highly recommended."
Originally published in England by Serpent's Tail, Caught in a Still Place is available again as a print-on-demand paperback or an ebook download.
“Lerner breaks the mold. Candid, understated, self-effacing, funny, as stripped down as the emptied world."
"Caught in a Still Place is a novel with the coolest, most composed of tones. The setting is an America which has been destroyed by plague, yet Jonathan Lerner has the independence of imagination to avoid the hysteria and hyperbole of the “disaster novel.” His few survivors, living off oysters and beach peas on the Florida coast, are presented with both restraint and tenderness, a potent and refreshing combination. Jonathan Lerner is a writer who deserves—and rewards— our full, unblinking attention."
——Jim Crace, Whitbread Prize-winning
author of Quarantine and Harvest.