A Disorder Peculiar to the Country by Ken Kalfus
A Novel

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Synopsis

Joyce and Marshall each think the other is killed on September 11—and must swallow their disappointment when the other arrives home. As their bitter divorce is further complicated by anthrax scares, suicide bombs, and foreign wars, they suffer, in ways unexpectedly personal and increasingly ludicrous, the many strange ravages of our time. In this astonishing black comedy, Kalfus suggests how our nation’s public calamities have encroached upon our most private illusions.

 

About Ken Kalfus

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Ken Kalfus is the author of two novels, The Commissariat of Enlightenment and A Disorder Peculiar to the Country, which was a finalist for the 2006 National Book Award. He's also published two collections of stories, Thirst and Pu-239 and Other Russian Fantasies, a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. His books have been translated into more than ten foreign languages. He lives in Philadelphia.
 
Published February 19, 2009 by HarperCollins e-books. 258 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction, Parenting & Relationships, History, Romance. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A Disorder Peculiar to the Country

Kirkus Reviews

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Both the strength and the weakness of this clever novel in fact inhere in the structure of parallels Kalfus draws between the Harrimans’ escalating “war” and the embattled Middle East, beyond the terrorist bombings here at home, through the U.S. invasion of Iraq and into a fantasized alternative ...

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The New York Times

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With cool black humor, Kalfus invites us to compare religious and cultural hatreds with personal ones, refracting his characters’ domestic miseries through the light shed by international events: “Feelings between Joyce and Marshall acquired the intensity of something historic, tribal and ethnic,...

Sep 10 2006 | Read Full Review of A Disorder Peculiar to the Co...

The Guardian

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Kalfus is also acute on the tics of contemporary culture: the way, for example, in which 24-hour television news is forced to shrink the size of live-action pictures in order to accommodate the "War on Terror logo, the Homeland Security Threat Bar, and the news crawl".

Oct 14 2006 | Read Full Review of A Disorder Peculiar to the Co...

BC Books

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Jun 26 2006 | Read Full Review of A Disorder Peculiar to the Co...

Entertainment Weekly

By turns hilarious, disgusting, depressing, and disappointing, Ken Kalfus's new novel, A Disorder Peculiar to the Country restages The War of the Roses against the backdrop of 9/11.

Jul 26 2006 | Read Full Review of A Disorder Peculiar to the Co...

New York Magazine

Not five years on, our writers have already given us the 9/11 spiritual novel, the 9/11 graphic novel, the 9/11 tragicomedy of manners, even the 9/11 literary overview (Jane Smiley’s 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel, in which she used the excuse of the trauma to pull down her shades and review 45,...

Jul 17 2006 | Read Full Review of A Disorder Peculiar to the Co...

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