This book is about Lois Clary, a talented young programmer from Michigan who follows a job to California, only to be drawn into the weird world of food that waits there. It’s about work and eating, robots and microbes, independence and ambition,


I believe it is the first novel in English to feature, as a key supporting character, a possibly-sentient sourdough starter.

Sourdough is published in the U.S. by MCD, a new division of FSG that I’m tremendously proud to be part of. The book’s cover, with its shining alien batard, was designed by Rodrigo Corral, the best in the business.

The great Cory Doctorow praised the book for covering

so much terrain: microbial nations, assimilation and tradition, embodied consciousness and the crisis of the tech industry, all without losing the light, sweet, ironic Sloanian voice familiar from Penumbra, a plot that makes the book a page-turner and a laugh-out-louder, with sweetness and romance and tartness and irony in perfect balance.

Writing for NPR, Jason Sheehan said of Sourdough:

It is a beautiful, small, sweet, quiet book. It knows as much about the strange extremes of food as Penumbra did about the dark latitudes of the book community.

Get the book

Sourdough is available everywhere books are sold!

The tour

Here’s where I’ll be talking about the book and signing copies and also thwacking them with my special stamp manufactured by Rubber Stamps Unlimited, Inc., of Plymouth, Michigan. (You’ll see.) (Nothing is natural.)

These are some of my favorite bookstores in the world, so I hope you’ll be able to join me at one of these events:

  • 9/7San Francisco: Green Apple Books on the Park
  • 9/9Winston-Salem: Bookmarks Festival
  • 9/10Atlanta: A Cappella Books, with Proof Bakeshop
  • 9/11Boston: Harvard Book Store
  • 9/12New York City: Barnes and Noble UWS, with Kevin Nguyen
  • 9/13Chicago: Book Cellar
  • 9/14Austin: Book People, with Edible Austin
  • 9/15Petaluma: Copperfield’s Books
  • 9/19Santa Cruz: Bookshop Santa Cruz, with Companion Bakeshop
  • 9/21Los Angeles: Skylight Books
  • 9/23St. Louis: Bookfest St. Louis & Left Bank Books
  • 9/25Ann Arbor: Literati Books, with Zingerman’s Bakeshop
  • 9/29Harbor Springs: Harbor Springs Festival
  • 10/4Denver: Tattered Cover
  • 10/9Portland: Powell’s City of Books
  • 10/12Berkeley: Mrs. Dalloway’s
  • 10/19San Francisco: Bookshop West Portal
  • 10/24Menlo Park: Kepler’s

International editions

Editions of Sourdough in languages other than English are on the way! I’ll post links here as they become available.

September 2017, Berkeley

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