- NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES AND THE WASHINGTON POST
- LONGLISTED FOR THE CENTER FOR FICTION FIRST NOVEL PRIZE
A provocative satire of love, sex, money, and politics that unfolds over four wild days in so-called “paradise”—the long-awaited first novel from the acclaimed author of Sam the Cat
Every summer, a once-sort-of-famous cartoonist named Rich Fischer leaves his wife and two kids behind to teach a class at a weeklong arts conference in a charming New England beachside town. It’s a place where, every year, students—nature poets and driftwood sculptors, widowed seniors, teenagers away from home for the first time—show up to study with an esteemed faculty made up of prizewinning playwrights, actors, and historians; drunkards and perverts; members of the cultural elite; unknown nobodies, midlist somebodies, and legitimate stars—a place where drum circles happen on the beach at midnight, clothing optional.
Once more, Rich finds himself, in this seaside paradise, worrying about his family’s nights without him and trying not to think about his book, now out of print, or his future as an illustrator at a glossy magazine about to go under, or his back taxes, or the shameless shenanigans of his colleagues at this summer make-out festival. He can’t decide whether his own very real desire for love and human contact is going to rescue or destroy him.
A warped and exhilarating tale of love and lust, Who Is Rich? goes far beyond to address deeper questions: of family, monogamy, the intoxicating beauty of children, and the challenging interdependence of two soulful, sensitive creatures in a confusing domestic alliance.
“Funny, maddening . . . defiantly original . . . [Matthew] Klam’s prose is so clean, so self-assured, that it feels a little like a miracle.”—The New York Times
“A dazzling meditation on monogamy [and] parenthood . . . full of sound and fury and signifying pretty much everything.”—The Boston Globe
“Comic, wondrous, and sad.”—The New Yorker
“Almost scarily astute.”—People
“An electric amalgam of frustration and tenderness, wonder and rebellion: a paean to the obliterating power of parental love.”—Jennifer Egan
“A contemporary masterpiece.”—Salon