For May, Jezebel Book Club Is Reading ‘The Extinction of Irena Rey’

Jennifer Croft's debut novel is one of the most original, unexpected novels I’ve read in a while, and I can't wait to talk about this twisty story with Jezebel readers.

For May, Jezebel Book Club Is Reading ‘The Extinction of Irena Rey’

Jezebel readers of the world unite, I’m here with good news: the announcement of our third book club pick. In May, we’ll be reading The Extinction of Irena Rey, by Jennifer Croft.

Irena Rey is one of the most original, unexpected novels I’ve read in a while. It takes place deep in a Polish forest, at the home of acclaimed author Irena Rey, where her translators have gathered to get to work on her magnum opus. The only problem? She’s nowhere to be found.

Croft herself knows the world of translating for a renowned author: She’s translated Nobel laureate Olga Tokarczuk; along with Tokarczuk, she won the Man Booker International Prize for her translation of Flights. The intimate, unusual relationship between author and translator is the base of Irena Rey, and Croft’s characters, including her unreliable (but to what degree??) narrator, are annoying, alluring, and everything in between. They are so fully realized that the mystery at the core of this novel is often second to the way their relationships play out and begin to change as time goes on.

We’ll be meeting on Wednesday, May 29 at 7 p.m. ET (that’s 6 p.m. CT, 5 p.m. MT, and 4 p.m. PT) on Zoom. (That link will get sent out beginning roughly two weeks ahead of time, only to subscribers.) If you’ve done our book club before, you’ll note that we’re trying out a new time; if you’ve never been able to join, we hope this new time works better with your schedule! In the meantime, shoot any questions you have to that email above. Can’t wait to talk about this twisty novel with you.

Croft’s publishers have kindly given us a few copies to give away to book club participants. If you’d like to throw your hat into the ring, subscribe for details. We’ll draw winners on Friday, May 10. 

Membership in the Jezebel Book Club is always open—but only to subscribers. So if you haven’t yet, subscribe and join us! When you do, you’ll get a link to join us on Discord (which is similar to Slack or other chat platforms you may be familiar with) if you’d like; once you’re in the Jezebel Discord, email your username to [email protected] and we’ll add you to the private book club channel. 

Happy reading!!

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