By David Whitehouse
(Scribner, Paperback, 9781451614237, 272pp.)
Publication Date: August 7, 2012
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Mal Ede, a child of untamed manners and unbounded curiosity, is the eccentric eldest son of an otherwise typical middle-class family. But as the wonders of childhood fade into the responsibilities of adulthood, Mal’s spirits fade too. On his twenty-fifth birthday, disillusioned, Mal goes to bed—back to his childhood bed—and never emerges again.
Over the course of two decades, immobility and a gargantuan appetite combine to make Mal the fattest man in the world. Despite his seclusion, Mal’s condition earns him worldwide notoriety and a cult of followers convinced he is making an important statement about modern life. But his actions will also change the lives of his haunted parents, his brother and the woman they both love, Lou.
Upon Bed’s publication, Kirkus Reviews declared, “Once in a great while a book will emerge from nowhere to acclaim.” In Bed, David Whitehouse has put a magnifying glass on contemporary society. The result—a parable about mortality, obesity, celebrity, depression and the broken promises of adulthood— is “as soulful as it is funny” (The Guardian).
David Whitehouse was born in 1981 in Nuneaton, England. Bed was the winner of the inaugural “To Hell with Prizes Award” at the 2010 London Book Fair. Currently editor-at-large at Shortlist magazine, Whitehouse lives in London.
“Outlandishly clever description… Ingenious one-liners… There’s no question that [David Whitehouse] is a writer to watch.”--Janet Maslin, New York Times
“A gorgeous, heartrending book, a book full of sentences so apt and well wrought, I sometimes had to read them twice.”--Henry Alford, San Francisco Chronicle
“Gorgeous writing… A deceptively effortless, haunting first novel.”--Boston Globe
“David Whitehouse has taken what might be a gimmicky hook in a lesser writer's hands--a romance triangulating around a bedridden media spectacle, the world's most obese man--and turned it, through lapidary prose, into a soulful meditation on a fraternal love as singular as it is universal.”--Teddy Wayne, author of Kapitoil
"Bed is a deftly-told wonder. Mr. Whitehouse's writing is accomplished, poetic, and deeply affecting."—Joe Meno, author of Hairstyles of the Damned
“Staggering, inventive, and heartbreakingly beautiful.”—Esquire (UK)
“The best new novel I’ve read in ages.” —Sam Delaney, Guardian
"Sad and funny and pretty brilliant, too."--The Observer (UK)
"Masterful... [An] accomplished debut... [Whitehouse] maintains a tone of subtlety and grace, pulling a distinguished and accessible story out of a profoundly strange experience."--Publishers Weekly, starred review ("Pick of the Week")
“A totally extraordinary and original novel.”—Heat (UK)
More than 150 writers from 40 events will gather in New York City for PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, April 28 – May 4, 2014.
For its 10th anniversary, the festival celebrates those who have dared to stand ‘on the edge,’ risking their careers, and sometimes their lives, to speak out for their art and beliefs. Join us for a wide range of events, including debates, one-on-one conversations, participatory workshops and performances in venues throughout the city. Use the code PEN14 (use PEN2014 for events at The Public Theater) and receive a 20 percent discount on most events. www.worldvoicesfestival.org