Don DeLillo Announces New Novel, ‘Zero K’ About a “Secret Compound Where Death Is Exquisitely Controlled”

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Yesterday, Scribner announced that Zero K, a new novel by Don DeLillo, will be released next year. Zero K is DeLillo’s seventeenth novel in a bibliography that includes 1985’s White Noise, 1991’s Mao II, and 1997’s Underworld.

Scribner has released a synopsis of the new novel (which is set to hit stores in May of 2016):

Jeffrey Lockhart’s father, Ross, is a billionaire in his sixties, with a younger wife, Artis Martineau, whose health is failing. Ross is the primary investor in a remote and secret compound where death is exquisitely controlled and bodies are preserved until a future time when biomedical advances and new technologies can return them to a life of transcendent promise. Jeff joins Ross and Artis at the compound to say “an uncertain farewell” to her as she surrenders her body. “We are born without choosing to be. Should we have to die in the same manner? Isn’t it a human glory to refuse to accept a certain fate?” These are the questions that haunt the novel and its memorable characters, and it is Ross Lockhart, most particularly, who feels a deep need to enter another dimension and awake to a new world. For his son, this is indefensible. Jeff, the book’s narrator, is committed to living, to experiencing “the mingled astonishments of our time, here, on earth.”

Additionally, Don DeLillo will be honored tomorrow at the 66th National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner. Jennifer Egan, author of the Pulitzer-winning A Visit From The Good Squad (2010), will present DeLillo with the National Book Foundation’s “Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.” The 66th National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner will take place tomorrow, November 18th in New York.

(h/t LA Times)