Author(s): Matthew Klam
`Who is Rich? Is a tantalizing novel - acute and smart and stark, but mostly it's unrelentingly funny about a large number of very inappropriate things. It's one of those rare books: you open it, then you're up all night. I was` Richard Ford Every summer, a once-sort-of famous cartoonist named Rich Fischer leaves his wife and two kids behind to teach a class at a week-long arts conference in a charming New England beachside town. It's a place where drum circles happen on the beach at midnight, clothing optional. Rich finds himself worrying about his family's nights without him, his back taxes, his stuttering career and his own very real desire for love and human contact. One of the attendees this year is a forty-one-year-old painting student named Amy O'Donnell. Amy is a mother of three, unhappily married to a brutish Wall Street titan who commutes to work via helicopter. Rich and Amy met at the conference a year ago, shared a moment of passion, then spent the winter exchanging inappropriate texts and emails and counting the days until they could see each other again.Now they're back.Who Is Rich? is a warped and exhilarating tale of love and lust, a study in midlife alienation, erotic pleasure, envy, and bitterness in the new gilded age that goes far beyond humour and satire 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.
`Who is Rich? Is a tantalizing novel - acute and smart and stark, but mostly it's unrelentingly funny about a large number of very inappropriate things. It's one of those rare books: you open it, then you're up all night. I was' Richard Ford `I loved every page of this book. It got into my bloodstream - and kind of destroyed me' Curtis Sittenfeld `What a thrill to experience the fusion of Matthew Klam's fierce, kinetic prose' Jennifer Egan `I seriously, deeply love this book' Michael Cunningham `A stunner . . . funny, dark, big, and bold . . . 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' Lorrie Moore `Comic, wondrous, and sad' New Yorker `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' Men's Journal `An irresistible comic novel that pumps blood back into the anaemic tales of middle-aged white guys. Klam may be working in a well-established tradition, but he's sexier than Richard Russo and more fun than John Updike ... For all its wise gender comedy, Who Is Rich? is also a brilliant rumination on the trap of cannibalizing one's life for art' Washington Post `Who Is Rich? is one of those novels with the rare power to mesmerize ... Klam has brought to life an indelible character, a man painfully alive on the page, cowardly in actions but utterly fearless in confronting hard truths we spend most of our lives evading' Boston Globe
Matthew Klam was named one of the twenty best fiction writers in America under 40 by The New Yorker. He's a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Robert Bingham/PEN Award, a Whiting Writer's Award, and an O Henry Award. His first book, Sam The Cat and Other Stories, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book of the Year in the category of first fiction, was selected as a Notable Book of the Year by The New York Times, Esquire Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, The Kansas City Star, and by the Borders for their New Voices series. His work has been featured in The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, Esquire, GQ Magazine, and The New York Times Magazine. He is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire and Hollins College, and has taught creative writing in many places including Johns Hopkins University, St. Albans School, American University, and Stockholm University in Sweden.