Who Is Rich? (Hardcover)

A Novel

By Matthew Klam

Random House, 9780812997989, 336pp.

Publication Date: July 4, 2017

List Price: 27.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Description

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

“I seriously, deeply love this book.”—Michael Cunningham

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES AND THE WASHINGTON POST

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.

LONGLISTED FOR THE CENTER FOR FICTION FIRST NOVEL PRIZE

“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


About the Author

Matthew Klam is the author of the acclaimed short story collection Sam the Cat. He is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, a Whiting Award, and a National Endowment for the Arts grant. His writing has been featured in publications including The New Yorker, Harper’s, GQ, The New York Times Magazine, The O. Henry Prize Stories, The Best American Nonrequired Reading, and The Ecco Anthology of Contemporary American Short Fiction.


Praise For Who Is Rich?: A Novel

“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

An irresistible comic novel . . . In paragraphs that flow like conversation with a witty, troubled friend, Klam captures Rich’s squirrelly consciousness, swinging from lust to despair, turning his comic eye on others and then on himself.”The Washington Post

“Superb . . . Like all great humorists, Klam is a sharp observer and he skewers his targets here with specificity and brio.”—Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air

“Libidinous, impulsive, sarcastic, bitter, casually suicidal, and committed to his art . . . Rich is a worthy addition to American literature’s distinguished line of hapless antiheroes.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“In 2000, Matthew Klam was the literary equivalent of Rookie of the Year, publishing Sam the Cat, a collection of stories that prompted The New Yorker to call him one of the top twenty writers under forty. Now, finally, we have the novel Klam’s fans hoped he had in him. . . . It’s both bleak and joyous, creeping between the isolation of a f***less marriage and the elusive thrill of the affair.”Men’s Journal

“Rich is a hard man to like, but he makes you laugh.”—NPR

“It’s amazing to wait so long for a book, and for it to be everything you wanted. The most singular quality of Matthew Klam’s writing is how alive it is. I loved every page of this book. It got into my bloodstream—and kind of destroyed me.”—Curtis Sittenfeld

“I’ve been eagerly awaiting another book by Matthew Klam—and here it is, and it’s a stunner. This, his first novel, is funny, dark, big, and bold. I read it straight through, with great pleasure and awe at all he knows about art, money, family, sex, kids, mortality, and shame. Who Is Rich? is not to be missed.”—Meg Wolitzer

“Matthew Klam is a brilliant satirist and keen observer of Unequal America, and his new novel takes a hard look at society’s extravagant hypocrisies. His work is thrilling and distinctive—and political in a way that is not always noted because it is also so funny. Who Is Rich? is long-awaited and first-rate.”—Lorrie Moore

“I just finished Matthew Klam’s Who Is Rich? and I seriously, deeply love this book.”—Michael Cunningham


Coverage from NPR