Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
A bracing satire about the implosion of a Theranos-like company, a collapsing marriage, and a billionaires’ “philanthropy summit,” for fans of Hari Kunzru and The White Lotus.
In 72 hours, a blockbuster exposé will reveal Victoria Stevens’s multibillion-dollar startup as a massive fraud. And Victoria has gone missing. Has she faked her death, leaving her husband, Guy Sarvananthan, to face the fallout— and potential jail time? Should Guy flee to his native Sri Lanka, an outcast and a failure? Or embrace denial? Opting for the latter, he takes the corporate jet to a private Caribbean island, where the 0.0001% have gathered to decide which one of the world’s biggest problems to “eradicate forever.” Guy drinks and drugs his way into oblivion, through manicured jungles and aboard superyachts, amid captains of industry, legions of staff, and unlikely saboteurs.
Meanwhile, Victoria narrates her side of the story from an off-the-grid location in the California desert. In scribbled diary entries shot through with cultish self-help mantras, she plots her comeback, confident she’ll prove everyone wrong. Again.
Ryan Chapman’s incisive novel is a swan dive into the abyss and “Martin Amis’s Money for really late, late capitalism” (Amitava Kumar, author of A Time Outside This Time).
About the Author
Ryan Chapman is a Sri Lankan–American writer originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, and currently based in Kingston, New York. He is the author of Riots I Have Known, which NPR named “one of the smartest—and best—novels of the year,” among other accolades. His criticism and humor pieces have appeared in Bookforum, The New Yorker, The Guardian, McSweeney’s, BOMB, The Brooklyn Rail, Frieze, and elsewhere.
Praise for The Audacity
Lit Hub's Most Anticipated Books of 2024
“Hilarious . . . Chapman’s sharp humor earns him that place among the master satirists.”
“Fearless, irreverent, and so very funny, The Audacity skewers the ego-driven disruption culture of the uber rich. Chapman is a master of satire, and his hilarious runs are threaded through with moving looks at American identity, grief, self-loathing and self-worth. This is a dark, timely, super smart book.”
—Kimberly King Parsons, author of Black Light
“There are funny books, and then there is the occasional novel that actually makes you cackle—which I did, repeatedly, as I read Ryan Chapman’s The Audacity. It’s a satire that hits on the line level, sparing none of its characters or observation from its skewering wit. Timely in its reference points, but timeless in what it says about the relationship between America, inequality, and cultural assimilation, this book is A Modest Proposal by way of Succession.”
—Kevin Nguyen, author of New Waves
“Ryan Chapman’s outstanding comic sensibility is matched by acrobatic prose of the first rank. The Audacity is an immersively entertaining, tightly controlled bullet of a novel.”
—Teddy Wayne, author of The Great Man Theory and Loner
“Equal parts Sam Lipsyte and Don DeLillo, The Audacity is razor-sharp satire about the lowlifes of high tech and the absurdity of our present reality. Chapman’s prose overflows with verve, wit, and intelligence, but he never forgets the tender, beating heart at the core. I tore through the book with laughter and envy.”
—Lincoln Michel, author of The Body Scout
“Almost exactly a hundred years later, this is The Great Gatsby, updated. This is the art of the affluent we want. The excesses of the lives of the idealistic or deluded or avaricious super-rich might all be false but what is certainly real is the energy on each page of this novel. The only way to blurb this book is simply quote from it. Martin Amis’s Money for really late, late capitalism.”
—Amitava Kumar, author of A Time Outside This Time
“Ryan Chapman cavorts amidst the twisted wreckage of our zeitgeist like it’s his own rollicking funhouse. The Audacity is a tragicomic thrill ride that tips a trick-filled hat to postmodernists past as it delivers its devastating cultural critique. The smartest, most enjoyable novel I’ve read all year.”
—David Goodwillie, author of Kings County
“With The Audacity, Ryan Chapman has perfected the art of satire in a decidedly post-satire era. It is delicate work to mine humor from the daily bathos of Silicon Valley superachievers and their gnomic lusts, but with a surfeit of literary tools at his disposal, Chapman has done it. Employing the sector-specific fluencies of David Foster Wallace, the deadpan whimsy of Douglas Coupland, the intoxicated bite of early Martin Amis, and the postmodern empathy of Jennifer Egan, Chapman has conjured a tragicomic tech dystopia from an Onion headline, a hyper-capitalist wasteland populated by fleece-vested minor gods who haven’t quite realized they’ve already fallen from grace.”
—Jonny Diamond, editor of Literary Hub
“[Chapman] has a keen eye for the foibles of the new gilded age.”
Praise for Ryan Chapman
“Chapman's book is one of the funniest American novels to come around in years, a sharp satire of the literary scene as well as the broken prison system. Despite the grim subject matter, Chapman packs more laughs into 128 pages than most sitcoms do in an entire season. Dark, daring, and laugh-out-loud hilarious, Riots I Have Known is one of the smartest—and best—novels of the year.”
—Michael Schaub, NPR
“A compact cluster bomb of satire that kills widely and indiscriminately . . . If you’re part of the Venn diagram that subscribes to n+1 and McSweeney’s, this is the funnest book you’ll read all year.”
—Ron Charles, The Washington Post
“[A] gritty, bracing debut . . . Told in searing, high velocity prose.”
—Adrienne Westenfeld, Esquire
“I cackled my way through the slim volume, but like I said, I might be strange. If you’re the same kind of strange, you might really love this book.”
—John Warner, The Chicago Tribune
“Chapman’s satirical jab packs a full-fledged punch.”
“Like a Nabokov novel written by a character who is constantly snorting Ritalin.”
—Chad Post, Three Percent
“[A] funny and excellent debut . . . Supremely mischievous and sublimely written, this is a stellar work.”
—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“Ryan Chapman creates a narrative voice that is by turns tender, cruel, profane, wildly inventive, and, finally, unforgettable."
—Sam Lipsyte, author of Hark and The Ask
"Riots I Have Known is a multivalent title: Ryan Chapman’s debut is about a prison riot, unfurls a riot of word-drunk prose, and, most of all, is itself a riot, a virtuoso vocal performance of acidic seriocomedy whose forebears are Thomas Bernhard’s discursive monologues, Frederick Exley’s deadpan wit, and Kafka’s Kafkaesqueness, but which is ultimately, as they say, all Chapman’s own. It’s hard to find a single sentence that isn’t polished to a brilliant luster in this lacerating shiv of a novel."
—Teddy Wayne, author of Loner
"Hilarious, original, and cunningly wrought, Ryan Chapman has written a rocket-powered ode to literary creation and mass incarceration. Weaving satire and seriousness into a singularly rambunctious monologue, rollicking and oddly recognizable at once, Riots I Have Known is a breath of fresh air."
—Alexandra Kleeman, author of You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine
"With Riots I Have Known, Ryan Chapman has delivered a keen satire of America’s criminal justice crisis. The novel is remarkable for many things not the least of which are its wit, humor, and masterful language. I was impressed again and again, and I wager so too will readers with working hearts and brains."
—Mitchell S. Jackson, award-winning author of Survival Math
“Ryan Chapman is an exceptional stylist, and his range of reference runs from Fredric Jameson and Kafka to Carly Rae Jepsen and Kinfolk. Riots I Have Known is a smart, rambunctious, and (it just so happens) riotously funny debut novel. It's a book you don't so much read as ride like a roller coaster—i.e. very quickly, while hanging on for dear life and maybe screaming—and as soon as it's over you'll want to ride again.”
—Justin Taylor, author of Flings
“Riots I Have Known moves at breakneck pace as a pent-up con runs free across every page. Chapman is his very own, and this is a book readers will devour.”
—Amelia Gray, author of Gutshot
“Riots I Have Known is a wild yawp from the literary frontier that brings to mind both Roberto Bolaño and Thomas Bernhard. It is relentless, hilarious, and unabashedly smart. It's my new favorite manifesto and I loved every last page.”
—Scott Cheshire, author of High as the Horses’ Bridles
“Had Humbert Humbert started a literary journal from prison and penned a jailbreak scene with the spectacular absurdity of the one in Natural Born Killers, there would be a clear antecedent for Riots I Have Known. As it is, Ryan Chapman's book is fiercely original, darkly hilarious, and morally complex. Strong voice, both sympathetic and sharp as a shiv, calls the reader farther and farther into a prison on fire. Chapman's ability to play simultaneously in the two keys of gleeful wit and menace reminded me of Aravind Adiga's polytonality in White Tiger.”
—Will Chancellor, author of A Brave Man Seven Storeys Tall
“Chapman unspools a droll dramedy loosely based on the spectacular fall of fraudulent healthcare startup Theranos . . . A pithy send-up of one of Silicon Valley’s most intriguing crimes.”