The New Naturals


By Gabriel Bump

Read by Robin Miles

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This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around November 14, 2023. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

From the Ernest J. Gaines Award-winning author of Everywhere You Don't Belong, a touching, timely novel—called a "tour de force" by Kaitlyn Greenidge (Libertie) and "wry and astonishing" by Publishers Weekly—about an attempt to found an underground utopia and the interwoven stories of those drawn to it.

*Included in Fall Preview & Most-Anticipated Lists: New York Times, Washington Post, The Boston Globe,,, The Millions, and Lit Hub*

An abandoned restaurant on a hill off the highway in Western Massachusetts doesn't look like much. But to Rio, a young Black woman bereft after the loss of her newborn child, this hill becomes more than a safe haven—it becomes a place to start over. She convinces her husband to help her construct a society underground, somewhere safe, somewhere everyone can feel loved, wanted, and accepted, where the children learn actual history, where everyone has an equal shot.

She locates a Benefactor and soon their utopia begins to take shape. Two unhoused men hear about it and immediately begin their journey by bus from Chicago to get there. A young and disillusioned journalist stumbles upon it and wants in. And a former soccer player, having lost his footing in society, is persuaded to check it out too. But no matter how much these people all yearn for meaning and a sanctuary from the existential dread of life above the surface, what happens if this new society can't actually work? What then? 

From one of the most exciting new literary voices out there, The New Naturals is fresh and deeply perceptive, capturing the absurdity of life in the 21st century, for readers of Paul Beatty’s The Sellout and Jennifer Egan’s The Candy House. In this remarkable feat of imagination, Bump shows us that, ultimately, it is our love for and connection to each other that will save us.


  • Included in Fall Preview & Most-Anticipated Lists: New York Times, Washington Post, The Boston Globe,,, The Millions, and Lit Hub
  • MOST ANTICIPATED: The Millions * Lit Hub

    "A Blithedale Romance for the 21st century, only less naive and more complex.  Race, class and gender collide in all the ways they do in the so-called real world. Bump's prose is fresh and frequently surprising. This is funny, sad, sad-funny and funny-sad and just plain smart."
    Percival Everett, author of Dr. No
  • “The New Naturals is a tragicomedy for our times, exploring that age-old question of how to connect with our fellow human beings and build community, even as the world makes increasingly less sense. A tour-de-force, full of heart and asking the big questions about life and the mind.”

    Kaitlyn Greenidge, author of Libertie
  • "Wry and astonishing … Brisk dialogue and flashes of mordant humor pay off, and Bump cannily grapples with such issues as gentrification, microaggressions, and environmental racism. This is a scalding study in human nature.”
    Publishers Weekly
  • "The New Naturals explores how grief can become aspiration, how aspiration can become wildness. Bump writes so tenderly about the human error endemic to man-made things---community, partnership, love."
    Raven Leilani, author of Luster
  • “Bump captures our contemporary condition with grace… [A] sharp, imaginative novel”
    The Boston Globe
  • “Gabriel Bump's brilliant and surprising novel The New Naturals takes us inside a utopian world and, even more deeply and wondrously, inside the souls of an impressive array of characters. Through them, Bump holds up a mirror to our own grief, longings, and rage in the face of a cruel, crumbling society. Intricate and intimate, Bump's prose is simply masterful.”
    Deesha Philyaw, author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies
  • “A keenly observant work of literary fiction, revealing provocative insights into what happens when ideals, aspirations, and human fallibility collide.  I was both gripped and hypnotized by Bump’s distinctive voice, so unique I couldn’t help but reread passages just to relive its poetic cadence.  I flew through the pages.  I fell in love with characters who not only shared my concerns but hopes and sympathies as well. THE NEW NATURALS is bold, funny, dark and masterful.”
    Oscar Hokeah, author of PEN/Hemingway Winner Calling for a Blanket Dance
  • “Gorgeous and lyrical… An effecting, experimental tale of race and reinvention”
    Kirkus Reviews
  • “Our booksellers have already devoured it. Bump has a knack for writing stories about human connection that leave us feeling hopeful. This won't be one to miss.”
    Epilogue Books (Chapel Hill, NC), USA Today
  • “[An] ambitious and fascinating premise.”
    Literary Hub

On Sale
Nov 14, 2023
Hachette Audio

Gabriel Bump

Gabriel Bump

About the Author

Gabriel Bump grew up in South Shore, Chicago. He received his MFA in fiction from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His debut novel, Everywhere You Don't Belong, was a New York Times Notable Book of 2020 and has won the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award for Fiction, the Heartland Booksellers Award for Fiction, and the Black Caucus of the American Library Association's First Novelist Award. Bump teaches at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Learn more about this author