Ordinary Hazards

by Anna Bruno
August 2020 / Atria (US)

For fans of Celeste Ng and Claire Messud comes an impeccably paced and transfixing debut novel about how life’s little decisions can ultimately yield the most powerful consequences.

The Final Final is the kind of bar that doesn’t exist in cities, a peculiarity of a small town that has seen better days. It is so called because it’s the last bar on the edge of town. The final stop after the final stop: The Final Final.

It is 5 pm and Emma has settled into her hometown bar for the evening, nine months after her divorce from Lucas, a man she met in this very room on a blind date orchestrated by the very locals who now surround her. As she observes their banter and reminisces, key facts about her history begin to emerge, and the past comes bearing down on her like a freight train.

Why has Emma, a powerhouse in the business world, ended up here? What is she running away from? And what is she willing to give up in order to recapture the love she has lost? As she teeters on the edge of oblivion, becoming more booze-soaked by the hour, Emma’s night begins to spin out of control.

A meditation on contemporary love, loss, and the place we call home, ORDINARY HAZARDS follows Emma’s epic night of finding her way back to a life worth living.

Anna Bruno is a writer and business communications instructor at the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business, where she coaches MBAs on developing and delivering presentations. Previously, Anna managed public relations and marketing for technology and financial services companies in Silicon Valley. She holds an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, an MBA from Cornell University, and a BA from Stanford University.