Wrong Way

A Novel

Hardcover, 288 pages

English language

Published Sept. 14, 2023 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

Copied ISBN!

View on OpenLibrary

5 stars (5 reviews)

For years, Teresa has passed from one job to the next, settling into long stretches of time, struggling to build her career in any field or unstick herself from an endless cycle of labor. The dreaded move from one gig to another is starting to feel unbearable. When a recruiter connects her with a contract position at AllOver, it appears to check all her prerequisites for a “good” job. It’s a fintech corporation with progressive hiring policies and a social justice-minded mission statement. Their new service for premium members: a functional fleet of driverless cars. The future of transportation. As her new-hire orientation reveals, the distance between AllOver’s claims and its actions is wide, but the lure of financial stability and a flexible schedule is enough to keep Teresa driving forward.

3 editions

make YOUR way... to the bookstore (to buy Wrong Way)

5 stars

Wrong Way is a contemplative, deliberate novel that builds by accumulation and unfolds quietly—quietly, at least, until the truly claustrophobic denouement. The marketing bills the book's subject as "AI" or the "gig economy" but it's really more basic and timeless than that: it's a book about how identity, labor, and place can't be disentangled from one another. The syntax and style of the prose are subtly radical—Joanne's direct, active voice, subject-verb-object sentences occasionally give way to jumpcut parataxis and zeugma, giving the feeling of weightlessness at the top of a rollercoaster. It's not a comedic book by any means, but there are moments of deadpan absurdity and satire that are surprisingly funny (I especially enjoyed the delicious venom directed at the "art world" and at two-faced tech bros using social justice language).

(Full disclosure: I am a friend of Joanne's and I took her writing course at SFPC, in which …

Review of 'Wrong Way' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Thrilled to get this ARC from FSG as some of my favorite weirdo novels are from them (Annihilation, The Insatiable Volt Sisters, The Rain Heron). Sadly, I didn’t love this one, but I very much appreciate what it was doing.

This is the story of Teresa, a struggling middle-aged woman (yay! For once!) living with her mom. She has a new job as a driver for this massive corporation, and ethical murkiness ensues. She also reflects on past jobs and past relationships.

I do love the wave of anti-capitalist worker stories I’m seeing. It’s commentary that I eat up, so I was glad to have found another one in Wrong Way.

The first part of the book was the best for me. Teresa’s training felt so dystopian and bizarre, and I was full of dread waiting for the reveal of what she’d actually be doing. Once I got there I …

avatar for boogah

rated it

5 stars
avatar for ranjit

rated it

5 stars
avatar for muffinista

rated it

5 stars