A Disorder Peculiar to the Country
By Ken Kalfus
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780060501419, 256pp.)
Publication Date: December 2006
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Joyce and Marshall each think the other is killed on September 11and must swallow their disappointment when the other arrives home. As their bitter divorce is further complicated by anthrax scares, suicide bombs, and foreign wars, they suffer, in ways unexpectedly personal and increasingly ludicrous, the many strange ravages of our time. In this astonishing black comedy, Kalfus suggests how our nations public calamities have encroached upon our most private illusions.
ken kalfus is the author of a novel, The Commissariat of Enlightenment, and the short story collections Thirst, which won the Salon Book Award, and Pu-239 and Other Russian Fantasies, which was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award.
“An interesting departure from Kalfus’s Slavic-inflected earlier fiction. Astringent, accomplished black comedy.”
“Powerful. . . . Kalfus skewers the pieties surrounding 9/11.”
-The New Yorker
“Brilliant. . . . It’s an engaging and provocative enterprise, a novel that challenges accepted pieties and dislodges expectations.”
-The New York Times Book Review