From the award-winning, Canada Reads-shortlisted author of Bone and Bread comes an immersive and eerily prescient novel about the power of human connection in a time of crisis, as the bonds of love, family, and duty are tested by an impending pandemic. Named a “Book You Should Read This Summer” by Maclean’s and Chatelaine.

How quickly he’d forgotten a fundamental truth: the closer you got to the heart of a calamity, the more resilience there was to be found.
Songs for the End of the World is the story of a handful of people who find themselves living through an unfolding catastrophe.

Elliot is a first responder in New York, a man running from past failures and struggling to do the right thing. Emma is a pregnant singer preparing to headline a benefit concert for victims of the outbreak–all while questioning what kind of world her child is coming into. Owen is the author of a bestselling plague novel with eerie similarities to the real-life pandemic. As fact and fiction begin to blur, he must decide whether his lifelong instinct for self-preservation has been worth the cost.

As the novel moves back and forth in time, we discover these characters’ ties to one another–and to those whose lives intersect with theirs–in an extraordinary web of connection and community that reveals none of us is ever truly alone. Linking them all is the mystery of the so-called ARAMIS Girl, a woman at the first infection site whose unknown identity and whereabouts cause a furor.

Written and revised between 2013 and 2019, and brilliantly told by an unforgettable chorus of voices, Saleema Nawaz‘s glittering novel is a moving and hopeful meditation on what we owe to ourselves and to each other. It reminds us that disaster can bring out the best in people–and that coming together may be what saves us in the end.

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About the Writer/s

  • Saleema Nawaz

    Saleema Nawaz is the author of two novels, most recently, "Songs for the End of the World." Born and raised in Ottawa, she currently lives in Montreal.