From coworker romances to satirical capitalism critiques, the office is a prime setting for novels. Pre-pandemic, the average person spent about a third of their life at work. Now, whether you’re readjusting to being back in the office or still working from home, take your pick from these 8 exciting novels set in the office. With workplace thrillers like The Other Black Girl and The Intern’s Handbook, enemies to lovers romances like Dating You Hating You, and the office apocalypse novel Severance, there is truly something for everyone on this list.
Nella is one of the few Black women trying to break into the very white world of book publishing. After years of suffering microaggressions, she’s delighted when Hazel, another Black woman, joins her department. But when someone starts leaving threatening notes at her desk, she wonders if it’s Hazel or if she’s just being paranoid. Could her job, or even her life, be in danger?
Imagine a crossover episode between The Office and The Walking Dead, and you’ve got Ling Ma’s terrific debut novel. Part apocalypse novel, part capitalism critique, this novel introduces Candace — a millennial so attached to her work routine that she barely notices when a plague waylays New York City. As the world falls apart around her, she keeps commuting to her Manhattan skyscraper office and going through the motions of her unfulfilling career. Eventually the pandemic becomes impossible to ignore, and she’ll have to decide whether to cling to the life she knows or band together with survivors who are trying to restart society.
About the Author: Alison Doherty
Alison is a writing teacher and part time assistant professor living in Brooklyn, New York. She has an MFA from The New School in writing for children and teenagers. She loves writing about books on the Internet, listening to audiobooks on her way to work, and reading anything with a twisty plot or a happily ever after.