Author(s): Helen Phillips
Chilling . . . the perfect summer page-turner. "Chicago Tribune" Kafka would love "The Beautiful Bureaucrat." . . . It s a surprising revelation of a book from an uncompromising author as unique as she is talented. NPR Riveting . . . thrillerlike . . . Ultimately, "The Beautiful Bureaucrat "succeeds because it isn t afraid to ask the deepest questions. "The New York Times Book Review"In a windowless building in a remote part of town, a newly employed young woman, Josephine, inputs an endless string of numbers into something known only as The Database. As the days inch by and the files stack up, Josephine feels increasingly anxious in her surroundings the office s scarred pinkish walls take on a living quality, the drone of keyboards echoes eerily down the long halls. When one evening her husband Joseph disappears and then returns, offering no explanation as to his whereabouts, her creeping unease shifts decidedly to dread, in Helen Phillips's "The Beautiful Bureaucrat.""
Unusual...deeply interesting...It's an irresistible setup and if that's all there were, it would be enough...[But] Mrs. Phillips has a wickedly funny eye, a fine sense of pacing, a smooth, winning writing style and a great gift for a telling detail... [Joseph and Josephine's] love - playful, supportive, cozy - steels them for the existential and metaphysical storms raging around them, big questions about life, death, birth, marriage, the office, the ructions in nature, the vagaries of the imagination, the foibles of people, free will, fate, the confusion of the past, the promise of the future...breathtaking and wondrous.--Sarah Lyall "The New York Times "
Helen Phillips is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer's Award and the Italo Calvino Prize, among others. Her collection, "And Yet They Were Happy," was also a finalist for the McLaughlin-Esstman-Stearns Prize, and her work has been featured on NPR's Selected Shorts and appeared in "Tin House," " Electric Literature," "Slice," "BOMB," "Mississippi Review," and "PEN America." She is an assistant professor of creative writing at Brooklyn College and lives in Brooklyn with her husband and children.