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"With this brilliant debut, Penner thoughtfully upends the tropes of postapocalyptic fiction" -- Publishers Weekly Strange Labour is a powerful meditation on the meaning of humanity in a universe that is indifferent to our extinction, and a provocative re-imagining of many of the tropes and cliches that have shaped the post-apocalyptic novel. Most people have deserted the cities and towns to work themselves to death in the construction of monumental earthworks. The only adults unaffected by this mysterious obsession are a dwindling population that live in the margins of a new society they cannot understand. Isolated, in an increasingly deserted landscape, living off the material remnants of the old order, trapped in antiquated habits and assumptions, they struggle to construct a meaningful life for themselves. Miranda, a young woman who travels across what had once been the West, meets Dave, who has peculiar theories about the apocalypse.