Mother for Dinner by Shalom Auslander, Paperback, 9781529052060 | Buy online at The Nile
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Mother for Dinner

Author: Shalom Auslander  

A novel of identity, tribalism, and mothers: an outrageously tasty comedy.

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A novel of identity, tribalism, and mothers: an outrageously tasty comedy.

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Seventh Seltzer has done everything he can to break from the past, but in his overbearing, narcissistic mother's last moments he is drawn back into the life he left behind. At her deathbed, she whispers in his ear the two words he always knew she would: "Eat me."This is not unusual, as the Seltzers are Cannibal-Americans, a once proud and thriving ethnic group, but for Seventh, it raises some serious questions, both practical and emotional. Of practical concern, his dead mother is six-foot-two and weighs about four hundred and fifty pounds. Even divided up between Seventh and his eleven brothers, that's a lot of red meat. Plus Second keeps kosher, Ninth is vegan, First hated her, and Sixth is dead. To make matters worse, even if he can wrangle his brothers together for a feast, the Can-Am people have assimilated, and the only living Cannibal who knows how to perform the ancient ritual is their Uncle Ishmael, whose erratic understanding of their traditions leads to conflict.Seventh struggles with his mother's deathbed request. He never loved her, but the sense of guilt and responsibility he feels -- to her and to his people and to his "unique cultural heritage" -- is overwhelming. His mother always taught him he was a link in a chain, thousands of people long, stretching back hundreds of years. But, as his brother First says, he's getting tired of chains.Irreverent and written with Shalom Auslander's incomparable humour, Mother for Dinner is an exploration of legacy, assimilation, the things we owe our families, and the things we owe ourselves.

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Critic Reviews

Bad taste has a purpose in this outrageous satire . . . grotesque, extremely funny, weirdly touching and acute Guardian
Daring, provocative and controversial . . . the outrageous nature of the comedy is done perfectly . . . This is a work of genius. -- Stuart Kelly Scotsman
Prize for premise of the year . . . a terrifically funny book . . . Close-to-the-knuckle farce with a big beating heart Daily Mail
I loved [it] . . . I think I devoured it in one sitting . . . riotous . . . I recommend you dig in -- Neil Fisher The Times
Auslander is an enfant even more terrible than Philip Roth . . . it provides plenty of dark laughs and inspired comic riffs TLS
Great fun . . . the conceit is inspired . . . retains the propulsion of true farce right to the end . . . surprisingly moving -- Richard Godwin The Times
Brilliantly written, often hilarious but also deeply thoughtful . . . Mother for Dinner is not a joke by any means (beyond the basic notion) Jewish Chronicle
A grotesque family comedy . . . Written in fast-moving, deadpan prose New Statesman
Auslander uses Mother for Dinner to make serious points about everything from the blandness of modern society to religious extremism . . . But he does so with buckets of laughs and some very visceral description. The confidence with which Auslander drags the reader into this world is exemplary, and you’re unlikely to read anything funnier this year -- Doug Johnstone Big Issue
Mother For Dinner is consistently funny, consistently wise and consistently disturbing in ways that probably only Shalom Auslander could arranger. It is a rare and agile narrative, part deftly-written, Cannibal satire, part moving exploration of identity and party truly concerning recipe book. Perhaps not a perfect gift for Mother’s Day, but then again, it could be just the thing -- A. L. Kennedy, Costa Prize-winning author of Day
Auslander turns his taboo-shattering satiric gaze to cannibalism in this outrageous, salty take on contemporary culture . . . more effective is the riotous dissection of cultural formation and a community's hunger for meaning. Publishers Weekly
Uproariously funny Literary Review
Dead funny and dead serious. A deliciously appalling satire on the hazards of tribalism, religion and tradition – and eating your relatives. -- Rhidian Brook, author of The Killing of Butterfly Joe
Irreverent and written with Auslander's incomparable humor, Mother for Dinner is an exploration of legacy, assimilation, the things we owe our families, and the things we owe ourselves. The Jewish Book World

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About the Author

Shalom Auslander was raised in Monsey, New York. Nominated for the Koret Award for writers under thirty-five, he has published articles in Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, Tablet magazine, The New Yorker, and has had stories aired on NPR's This American Life. Auslander is the author of the short story collection Beware of God, the memoir Foreskin's Lament, and the novel Hope: A Tragedy. He is the creator of Showtime's Happyish. He lives in Los Angeles.

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Product Details

Pan Macmillan | Picador
1st October 2020


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