How to Be Safe

How to Be Safe

A Novel

Book - 2018 | First edition.
Average Rating:
Rate this:
FORMER TEACHER HAD MOTIVE. Recently suspended for a so-called outburst, high school English teacher Anna Crawford is stewing over the injustice at home when she is shocked to see herself named on television as a suspect in a shooting at the school where she works. Though she is quickly exonerated, and the actual teenage murderer identified, her life is nevertheless held up for relentless scrutiny and judgment as this quiet town descends into media mania. Gun sales skyrocket, victims are transformed into martyrs, and the rules of public mourning are ruthlessly enforced. Anna decides to wholeheartedly reject the culpability she's somehow been assigned, and the rampant sexism that comes with it, both in person and online. A piercing feminist howl written in trenchant prose, How to Be Safe is a compulsively readable, darkly funny exposé of the hypocrisy that ensues when illusions of peace are shattered.
Publisher: New York : Liveright Publishing Corporation, a division of W. W. Norton & Company, [2018]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781631494130
Branch Call Number: FIC McAll
Characteristics: 232 pages ; 22 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
May 02, 2018

What an insightful way to tell a story of a school shooting described by the main character Anna which paralleled her own life's drama. McAllister relays to the reader the many ways our present life skews our sense of safety and yet he didn't sensationalize or put it into another "timely story". This novel is written with sensitivity, depth, and laugh-at-yourself wit.

LPL_PolliK Mar 28, 2018

How to Be Safe is an incredible, much-needed book for our times. It introduces us to Anna Crawford, a former teacher who faces a moment of scrutiny when her school suffers from a shooting. But a moment is all it takes to utterly destroy her life and the lives of everyone around her. A searing indictment of toxic masculinity, gun culture, the 24/7 news cycle, and sexism. Tightly written and hard to put down.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at VPL

To Top