The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg
A Novel

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...this largely brilliant novel can sometimes feel cluttered.
-NY Times


For more than thirty years, Edie and Richard Middlestein shared a solid family life together in the suburbs of Chicago. But now things are splintering apart, for one reason, it seems: Edie's enormous girth. She's obsessed with food--thinking about it, eating it--and if she doesn't stop, she won't have much longer to live.

When Richard abandons his wife, it is up to the next generation to take control. Robin, their schoolteacher daughter, is determined that her father pay for leaving Edie. Benny, an easy-going, pot-smoking family man, just wants to smooth things over. And Rachelle-- a whippet thin perfectionist-- is intent on saving her mother-in-law's life, but this task proves even bigger than planning her twin children's spectacular b'nai mitzvah party. Through it all, they wonder: do Edie's devastating choices rest on her shoulders alone, or are others at fault, too?

With pitch-perfect prose, huge compassion, and sly humor, Jami Attenberg has given us an epic story of marriage, family, and obsession. The Middlesteins explores the hopes and heartbreaks of new and old love, the yearnings of Midwestern America, and our devastating, fascinating preoccupation with food.

About Jami Attenberg

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Jami Attenberg is the author of a story collection, Instant Love, and two novels, The Kept Man and The Melting Season. She has contributed essays and criticism to The New York Times, Print, Nylon, Time Out New York, BookForum, Nerve, and many other publications. She lives in New York and is originally from Chicago.
Published October 23, 2012 by Grand Central Publishing. 289 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Middlesteins
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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Julie Orringer on Dec 27 2012

...this largely brilliant novel can sometimes feel cluttered.

Read Full Review of The Middlesteins: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Times


Reviewed by Meg Wolitzer on Oct 24 2012

The Middlesteins is a tender, sad and funny look at a family and their mother. In fact, it's so readable, it's practically edible.

Read Full Review of The Middlesteins: A Novel | See more reviews from NPR

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