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Independent Press Award

2024 Distinguished Favorite

The Joy Divisions

Scott Dimovitz

The year is 1993, and art-school dropout Ed Pullman has returned home to work as a janitor in Allentown, Pennsylvania-the enigmatic nexus where goth kids, coffeeshop culture, and sultry drag queens collide with neo-Nazis, the dying textiles industry, and an unsettling commune led by an aspiring cult leader named Tod Griffon. As Ed and his loving cousin Ester struggle to find their place in a bleakly earnest landscape of guerrilla conceptual art, post-NAFTA labor battles, and burning factories, their hometown marches stoically toward a disaster of biblical proportions. With its vivid and original recreation of a place and time that is both utterly real and surprisingly magical, Scott Dimovitz's grittily nostalgic debut novel is a sensitively imagined fable about an unsuspecting world on the cusp of massive change.

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