Rabbits for Food (Hardcover)

By Binnie Kirshenbaum

Soho Press, 9781641290531, 384pp.

Publication Date: May 7, 2019

List Price: 26.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Master of razor-edged literary humor Binnie Kirshenbaum returns with her first novel in a decade, a devastating, laugh-out-loud funny story of a writer’s slide into depression and institutionalization.
It’s New Year’s Eve, the holiday of forced fellowship, mandatory fun, and paper hats. While dining out with her husband and their friends, Kirshenbaum’s protagonist—an acerbic, mordantly witty, and clinically depressed writer—fully unravels. Her breakdown lands her in the psych ward of a prestigious New York hospital where she refuses all modes of recommended treatment. Instead, she passes the time chronicling the lives of her fellow “lunatics” and writing a novel about how she got to this place. Her story is a hilarious and harrowing deep dive into the disordered mind of a woman who sees the world all too clearly.
Propelled by stand-up comic timing and rife with pinpoint insights, Kirshenbaum examines what it means to be unloved and loved, to succeed and fail, to be at once impervious and raw. Rabbits for Food shows how art can lead us out of—or into—the depths of disconsolate loneliness and piercing grief. A bravura literary performance from one of our most witty and indispensable writers.

About the Author

Binnie Kirshenbaum is the author of the story collection History on a Personal Note and six novels, including On Mermaid Avenue, Hester Among the Ruins, An Almost Perfect Moment, and The Scenic Route. Her novels have been chosen as Notable Books of the Year by The Chicago Tribune, NPR, TIME, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The Washington Post. Her work has been translated into seven languages.

Praise For Rabbits for Food

A LitHub Most Anticipated Book of 2019

Praise for Rabbits for Food

"Binnie Kirshenbaum has hit her considerable stride in Rabbits for Food. This novel is compulsive reading; it's wonderfully paced, explosively funny and witty, and very, very wise about many grave things—but mostly about merely being human."
—Richard Ford

"Brilliant insight and gleaming prose light up this report from the darkest interior, where Binnie Kirshenbaum’s acerbic, grieving, all-too clear-sighted protagonist has become imprisoned by despair. Enduring love is no match here for irremediable loss, but Kirshenbaum conducts us on the journey with steady authorial nerves, high-wire insouciance, quicksilver wit, and limitless compassion."
—Deborah Eisenberg, author of Your Duck Is My Duck

Praise for Binnie Kirshenbaum

“Binnie Kirshenbaum is a rare and remarkable writer.”
—Michael Cunningham, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Hours

“Ms. Kirshenbaum mines a very rich seam that's entirely her own. This is first-rate writing by a novelist who gracefully defies classification.”
—Richard Ford, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Independence Day

“Bitter truths [are] rendered palatable by the delicious sauciness of Kirshenbaum's prose.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“Writing swift, pointed chapters . . . Kirshenbaum offers hilarious and sage advice in the battle of the sexes. Readers anxious for an entertaining female character to emulate, if only in their fantasies, will find themselves in good company.”

“Kirshenbaum has an original voice and, even better, an original sensibility.”
Los Angeles Times

“Spiked with wit, scrubbed free of sentimentality, these tales of love and loss, courage and cowardice, transport us back into the pages of our own lives and our own families.”
The Washington Post

"Not many young female novelists can deal with sex, the appetite for it, and the loss of such appetite, with such candor, lack of self-protection, and humor as Binnie Kirshenbaum."
—Norman Mailer

"A tremendous talent. Her novels are sexy, intelligent, complex, and provocative; they press against your heart the way old lovers do."
—Junot Díaz

“Binnie Kirshenbaum is a fearlessly unsentimental storyteller, a gifted comic writer and a thoughtful archeologist of family life.”
—Gary Shteyngart, New York Times bestselling author of Super Sad True Love Story

“Just when you think it is safe to laugh, she turns the tables on you. The funnier her books get, the more poignant they are.”
—Tova Mirvis, author of The Ladies Auxiliary

“The author is indeed a humorist, even a comedian, a sort of stand-up tragic.”
—Richard Howard, translator of The Immortalist