A stylistically dazzling dystopian novel about things, people, and the forces and seams between them.
In a dark and crooked lane in an unnamed city where it won’t stop snowing, a small white box falls from a coat pocket. It is made of paper strips woven tightly together; there is no apparent way to open it without destroying it. What compels a passing witness to this event to pick up the box and chase after the stranger who dropped it? The Box follows a delicate yet impenetrable rectangle as it changes hands in a collapsing metropolis, causing confluences, conflicts, rifts, and disasters. Six narrators, each with a distinct voice, give accounts of different junctures in the box’s life. From a newly hired curator of a renowned art collection to a couple who own an antiquarian bookshop to a hotel bartender hiding from a terrible past, the storytellers repeat rumours and rely on faulty memories, grasping at an object that continually escapes them. Haunting all their varied recollections is one mysterious woman who, convinced of either the box’s value or malevolence, pursues it with deadly desperation.