In Dalcher’s dystopian America, women must adhere to a strict limit of 100 words a day—or submit to government-mandated electroshock. Our heroine Jean McClellan stands by as the leader of a patriarchal Pure Movement rises to power, immersing herself in the cozy den of academia to become a respected neurolinguist. But as working women nationwide are forced into early retirement for the sake of an idealized 1950s husband-and-housewife model, she must watch in horror as her children internalize the dogma, her daughter’s voice dwindling alarmingly day by day. There may come time for a reckoning, however, when the President’s brother faces neurological trouble only McClellan can solve.
A thrilling, visceral next read for fans of The Handmaid’s Tale and Naomi Alderman’s The Power, and a call for action over apathy. Buyer beware: You may find yourself quantifying what you say as you navigate Vox’s uncanny terrain.— –Lainie Formby, Adult Frontlist Buyer
September 2018 Indie Next List
“This ambitious debut scared me so much that I began reading it in very small portions. In Dalcher’s version of the future, women have lost all of their rights and are limited (via electronic handcuffs) to speaking only 100 words per day. Their entire purview has been relegated to the home and family, where even girl children may not speak more than 100 words per day. Women cannot work, female representation in government has dropped precipitously over the years, and the bible belt has become a bible corset as men have reclaimed their masculinity through dominance of women in all areas. Even while we are currently consumed with the unthinkable changes in the current political environment .. this book reminds us to keep our eyes open and our voices heard.”
— Terry Gilman, Creating Conversations, Redondo Beach, CA
ONE OF ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY'S AND SHEREADS' BOOKS TO READ AFTER THE HANDMAID'S TALE
"[An] electrifying debut."--O, The Oprah Magazine * "The real-life parallels will make you shiver."--Cosmopolitan
Set in a United States in which half the population has been silenced, Vox is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter.
On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than one hundred words per day, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial. This can't happen here. Not in America. Not to her.
Soon women are not permitted to hold jobs. Girls are not taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words each day, but now women have only one hundred to make themselves heard.
For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.
This is just the beginning...not the end.
One of Good Morning America's "Best Books to Bring to the Beach This Summer"
One of PopSugar, Refinery29, Entertainment Weekly, Bustle, Real Simple, i09, and Amazon's Best Books to Read in August 2018
About the Author
Christina Dalcher earned her doctorate in theoretical linguistics from Georgetown University. She specializes in the phonetics of sound change in Italian and British dialects and has taught at several universities.
Her short stories and flash fiction appear in more than one hundred journals worldwide. Recognition includes the Bath Flash Award short list, nominations for the Pushcart Prize, and multiple other awards. She lives in Norfolk, Virginia, with her husband.
PRAISE FOR VOX
“Christina Dalcher’s debut novel, set in a recognizable near future and sure to beg comparisons to Margaret Atwood’s dystopian The Handmaid’s Tale, asks: if the number of words you could speak each day was suddenly and severely limited, what would you do to be heard? A novel ripe for the era of #MeToo, VOX (Berkley) presents an exaggerated scenario of women lacking a voice: in the United States, they are subject to a hundred-word limit per day (on average, a human utters about 16,000). Considering the threat of a society in which children like the protagonist’s six-year-old daughter are deprived of language, VOX highlights the urgency of movements like #MeToo, but also of the basic importance of language.”—Vanity Fair
“The females in Dalcher’s electrifying debut are permitted to speak just 100 words a day—and that’s especially difficult for the novel’s protagonist, Jean, a neurolinguist. A futurist thriller that feels uncomfortably plausible.”—O, The Oprah Magazine
“In Christina Dalcher’s Vox, women are only allowed to speak 100 words a day. Sounds pretty sci-fi, but the real-life parallels will make you shiver.”—Cosmpolitan
“Vox is a real page-turner that will appeal to people with big imaginations.”—Refinery29
“Fittingly, this book about women being silenced has got everybody talking and calling it The Handmaid's Tale for 2018.”—Bustle
“VOX is intelligent, suspenseful, provocative, and intensely disturbing—everything a great novel should be.”—Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“Chilling and gripping—a real page-turner.”—Karen Cleveland, New York Times bestselling author of Need to Know
“A bold, brilliant, and unforgettable debut.”—Alice Feeney, author of Sometimes I Lie
“With language crystalline and gleaming, and a narrative that really moves, Christina Dalcher both cautions and captivates. The names that come to mind are Margaret Atwood, George Orwell, and Aldous Huxley—had Orwell and Huxley had a taste of the information age. VOX is a book for the dystopic present. It woke me up.”—Melissa Broder, author of The Pisces
“[A] provocative debut...Dalcher’s novel carries an undeniably powerful message.”—Publishers Weekly
“A petrifying re-imagining of The Handmaid's Tale in the present and a timely reminder of the power and importance of language.”—Marta Bausells, ELLE UK
“This book will blow your mind. The Handmaid’s Tale meets Only Ever Yours meets The Power.”—Nina Pottell, Prima