They Is Us

They Is Us

Tama Janowitz

Pub date
The Friday Project
B Format 129x198mm
304 pages
Download jacket

Book Overview

Oryx & Crake meets Douglas Coupland. An unforgettable vision of the future of America.

Years from now America finds itself split between the rich and the poor. The haves live in luxury within the small regions that remain unpolluted while the have-nots inhabit a toxic suburbia full of terrorism, crime and genetic mutations.

Perhaps not all that different from today then?

They Is Us tells the story of one family from the poor side as they go about their daily lives. Julie has a job as a summer intern at an animal laboratory. She can’t resist taking home the discarded mutants and her house is filled with genetic cast offs. Her mother, Murielle, has kicked out her stepfather and now, seemingly from nowhere, finds herself subject to the attentions of multi-millionaire businessman A.J.M. Bishrop. Bishrop is only dating Murielle because he wants to get Julie’s underage sister Tahnee into bed.

Just your typical American family story.

Set against a backdrop of increasingly invasive technology, growing pollution and the President of the USA’s impending gay marriage (to be broadcast live across the nation) They Is Us features a cast of unforgettable characters that will stick in your mind long after you finish the book.

Tama Janowitz has written a prophetic novel which is funny, and frequently hilarious, but is so uncannily believable that it is chilling to read. This really could be the future.

About the author

Tama Janowitz is the author of several works of fiction and non-fiction including ‘Slaves of New York’ (which was made into a movie by Merchant Ivory), ‘Peyton Amberg’ and ‘The Male Cross-Dressers' Support Group’. She lives in New York.


  • ‘Tama Janovitz has created something thought-provoking and entertaining, weaving together all the naff, celebrity-obsessed clichés of Noughties culture with some of society’s biggest fears. Terrorism, global warming and round-the-clock surveillance are part of everyday life, leaving the reader craving old-fashioned values and the faintest glimmer of wholesome normality. Brave, outrageous and unflinchingly funny, Janowitz’s oddball tale screams like an alarm bell at points, then rolls its eyes in playful disgust at others. Tomorrow’s world, Janowitz seems to be saying, may be an ugly place, but if we can spot the comedy moments in it, maybe we can go into it forewarned and forearmed.’ Scotland on Sunday
  • ‘A thing of austere beauty so, too, is her intelligent, funny prose. She’s an acute social observer with a wicked line in sly, subversive humour, all of which she brings to bear in this new offering.’ The Scotsman
  • ‘Tama Janowitz maintains her reputation for extreme quirkiness.’ The Times
  • ‘Fascinating and prophetic…Janowitz’s engrossing and flamboyant tale conveys a darkly humorous sense that humanity will simply get on with life as it always has done. And that really is the best form of hope They Is Us can offer.’The Sunday Business Post
  • ‘Janowitz is a queasily imaginative author, and They Is Us draws a lot of strength from the energy of her sentences, and the fierceness of her wit.’ The Independent
  • ‘Very funny.’Independent on Sunday