Break in Case of Emergency
Jessica Winter, Read by Xe Sands

Book cover image

Narrated By: Xe Sands

Duration: 8 hours and 3 minutes

What to expect

‘Extremely funny – a satirical masterpiece that is tender and existentially-minded as well. I loved it!’ Elizabeth McKenzie, author of THE PORTABLE VEBLEN

‘Very smart and juicy and weird and entertaining … it reads like a chick lit plot written by Franzen’ Curtis Sittenfeld

Jen has reached her early thirties and has all but abandoned a once-promising painting career when, spurred by the economic crisis, she takes a poorly defined job at a feminist nonprofit. The foundation’s aim is to empower women, but staffers spend all their time devising acronyms for imaginary programs, ruthlessly undermining one another, and stroking the ego of their boss, the larger-than-life celebrity philanthropist Leora Infinitas.

Jen’s complicity in this passive-aggressive hellscape only intensifies her feelings of inferiority compared to her two best friends – one a wealthy attorney with a picture-perfect family, the other a passionately committed artist – and so does Jen’s apparent inability to have a baby, a source of existential panic that begins to affect her marriage and her already precarious status at the office.

Jessica Winter’s ferociously intelligent debut novel is a wry satire that explores the difficulty of navigating friendships as they shift to accommodate marriage and family, and the unspoken tensions that can strain even the strongest bonds.

Genre

Modern & contemporary fiction, Classic fiction

Listen to a sample

‘Very smart and juicy and weird and entertaining … it reads like a chick lit plot written by Franzen’ Curtis Sittenfeld

‘An extraordinary debut … Winter’s novel is extremely good, because it is so well written’ Guardian

‘Extremely funny – a satirical masterpiece that is tender and existentially-minded as well. I loved it!’ Elizabeth McKenzie, author of THE PORTABLE VEBLEN

‘In this cutting commentary on workplace toxicity and how its tendrils can strangle relationships, Winter uses humour to illuminate the state of modern work, family, and friendship. She does a stellar job’
Elle

‘If you need a New York map of our times, have Jessica Winter become your cartographer. Sassy, sarcastic and sleek, this is a wonderfully brash appraisal of how we live’
National Book Award winner Colum McCann

‘Enthralling, sharply observed’ Marie Claire

‘Hilarious… The personal and workplace plots are woven together beautifully. Read, cringe, laugh, relate’ Lenny

‘A funny and moving commentary on that point in a woman's life when everything seems to come into question’ New York Times

‘Curious, captivating’ Kirkus Reviews

‘If you’re wondering what it’s like to live in New York when you’re young, just buy Jessica Winter’s book. It’s funny, satirical, and deftly written’ Mike Schur, co-creator of Parks and Recreation