When a soldier returning home to a small New York town inadvertently transports an invasive species of deadly parasitic wasps, he sets off a frightening chain of events that throws an entire community into an unpredictable crisis. Escalating in its psychological, emotional, and narrative intensity, Ockert's gripping first novel examines the choices individuals make in the face of danger, the limits of personal strength, and the value of family loyalty when the familiar world unravels.
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Wasp Box Blurbs and Reviews
"Wasp Box is full of wonders, by which I mean it's full of drunken fathers and the Finger Lakes of New York and middling wineries and too-smart-and-nosy-for-their-own-good kids and bomb shelters and young love and lost love and lost diaries and killer wasps. In this, his unbelievably smart, tense, breakneck first novel, Ockert has made something strange, and great, a book that is absolutely impossible to put down once you've started it."
Brock Clarke, author of The Happiest People in the World
"With sentences as darting and sharp as the wasps that haunt this remarkable debut novel, Jason Ockert has crafted an unforgettable vision of an America—and a family—in peril."
Laura van den Berg, author of Find Me
"Wasp Box may cause swelling, itching, anaphylactic shock, renal failure, barbed terror, stinging empathy, and profound joy."
Benjamin Percy, author of The Dead Lands
"One of Ockert’s strengths—in his story collections and in Wasp Box-is his ability to capture family: the awkward and difficult moments; the clumsy navigation of delicate situations; the discrepancies and sacrifices; the tender instances lost to stubbornness; and the selfish, rash choices." Read the book review on The Rumpus.
Book review by Zachary Vickers, Richard Yates Prize and The Clark Fisher Ansley Prize recipient