Sweetness #9 (Digital Audiobook)
Publication Date: August 18, 2014
"Funny and moving. After this, nothing will ever taste the same again."--T. C. Boyle
It's 1973, and David Leveraux has landed his dream job as a Flavorist-in-Training, working in the secretive industry where chemists create the flavors for everything from the cherry in your can of soda to the butter on your popcorn.
While testing a new artificial sweetener--"Sweetness #9"--he notices unusual side-effects in the laboratory rats and monkeys: anxiety, obesity, mutism, and a generalized dissatisfaction with life. David tries to blow the whistle, but he swallows it instead.
Years later, Sweetness #9 is America's most popular sweetener--and David's family is changing. His wife is gaining weight, his son has stopped using verbs, and his daughter suffers from a generalized dissatisfaction with life. Is Sweetness #9 to blame, along with David's failure to stop it? Or are these just symptoms of the American condition?
David's search for an answer unfolds in this expansive novel that is at once a comic satire, a family story, and a profound exploration of our deepest cultural anxieties. Wickedly funny and wildly imaginative, Sweetness #9 questions whether what we eat truly makes us who we are.
About the Author
Stephan Eirik Clark is the author of Vladimir's Mustache, a collection of short stories. His short stories and essays have appeared in Ninth Letter, Witness, The Cincinnati Review, and LA Weekly, among other publications, and have been short-listed for the Fish Publishing Historical Fiction Prize and recognized in Best American Essays 2009 and 2010. Born in West Germany and raised between England and the United States, Clark holds a Master's degree in English Literature with a creative writing emphasis from the University of California, Davis and a Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California. A former print and radio journalist, he lives in Minneapolis and teaches creative writing at Augsburg College. Sweetness #9 is his first novel.