Bad Nature

A Novel

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Pub Date Apr 01 2025 | Archive Date May 02 2025
Henry Holt & Company | Henry Holt and Co.

Description

Armed with a terminal diagnosis, a grudge, and a rental car, forty-year-old Hester sets out to fulfill her lifelong dream of killing her father in this brilliantly subversive and bleakly funny novel

It’s Hester’s fortieth birthday when she’s diagnosed with terminal cancer, and she knows immediately what she must do: abandon her possessions and drive to California to kill her estranged father. With no friends or family tying her to the life she’s built in New York City, she quits her wildly lucrative job in corporate law and sets off. She hasn’t made it far when she runs into John, an environmental activist in need of a ride to different superfund sites across the United States. From five-star Midwestern hotels to cultish Southwestern compounds, the two slowly make their way across the country. But will the revelations they make along the way dissuade Hester from her final goal?

Ragingly singular and surprisingly moving, Bad Nature is a story of stunning detours and twists until its final destination. Part road trip novel, part revenge tale, part a lament of our ongoing ecological crisis, it’s ultimately a deft examination of the indulgence of holding grudges, moral ambivalence, and the eternal possibility of redemption.

Armed with a terminal diagnosis, a grudge, and a rental car, forty-year-old Hester sets out to fulfill her lifelong dream of killing her father in this brilliantly subversive and bleakly funny novel
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Advance Praise

“Wicked and wickedly funny, Ariel Courage’s debut Bad Nature is a dark romp of a book, a road-trip novel propelled by a revenge plot. Nihilism and optimism collide in this story featuring a woman who is simultaneously confronting her childhood and her death. Hester is a caustic yet irresistible narrator, and this evocation of her journey across America reads as both hate mail and love letter to a complex country. Bad Nature is raw, intense, and absolutely mesmerizing.”

—Helen Phillips, author of Hum

“Add Hester to the canon of unlikeable female characters I can’t look away from, and Bad Nature to novels I couldn’t put down. Dark, aloof, disciplined – this novel is reminiscent of the best of Ottessa Moshfegh or Emma Cline. I thought it was brilliant.”

—Mary Beth Keane, New York Times bestselling author of Ask Again, Yes

“Wicked and wickedly funny, Ariel Courage’s debut Bad Nature is a dark romp of a book, a road-trip novel propelled by a revenge plot. Nihilism and optimism collide in this story featuring a woman who...


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781250360885
PRICE $28.99 (USD)
PAGES 304

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