Who Is Rich? by Matthew Klam
A Novel

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Who Is Rich? is a cautionary tale perhaps on mining life for one’s art. And of giving one’s fantasies too much free rein.
-NY Journal of Books

Synopsis

A provocative satire of love, sex, money, and politics that unfolds over four wild days in so-called “paradise”—the long-awaited first novel from the acclaimed author of Sam the Cat

“I seriously, deeply love this book.”—Michael Cunningham

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES AND THE WASHINGTON POST

Every summer, a once-sort-of-famous cartoonist named Rich Fischer leaves his wife and two kids behind to teach a class at a weeklong arts conference in a charming New England beachside town. It’s a place where, every year, students—nature poets and driftwood sculptors, widowed seniors, teenagers away from home for the first time—show up to study with an esteemed faculty made up of prizewinning playwrights, actors, and historians; drunkards and perverts; members of the cultural elite; unknown nobodies, midlist somebodies, and legitimate stars—a place where drum circles happen on the beach at midnight, clothing optional.
 
Once more, Rich finds himself, in this seaside paradise, worrying about his family’s nights without him and trying not to think about his book, now out of print, or his future as an illustrator at a glossy magazine about to go under, or his back taxes, or the shameless shenanigans of his colleagues at this summer make-out festival. He can’t decide whether his own very real desire for love and human contact is going to rescue or destroy him.
 
A warped and exhilarating tale of love and lust, Who Is Rich? goes far beyond 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.

LONGLISTED FOR THE CENTER FOR FICTION FIRST NOVEL PRIZE

“Funny, maddening . . . defiantly original . . . [Matthew] Klam’s prose is so clean, so self-assured, that it feels a little like a miracle.”—The New York Times

“A dazzling meditation on monogamy [and] parenthood . . . full of sound and fury and signifying pretty much everything.”—The Boston Globe

“Comic, wondrous, and sad.”—The New Yorker

“Almost scarily astute.”—People

“An electric amalgam of frustration and tenderness, wonder and rebellion: a paean to the obliterating power of parental love.”—Jennifer Egan

“A contemporary masterpiece.”—Salon
 

About Matthew Klam

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Matthew Klam lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife. In 1999 he was named one of the twenty best young fiction writers in America by The New Yorker. He is an O. Henry Award winner. His nonfiction has been featured in such places as Harper's and The New York Times Magazine.From the Hardcover edition.
 
Published July 4, 2017 by Random House. 337 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Who Is Rich?
All: 4 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Above average
on Apr 18 2017

A down-on-his-luck cartoonist is besieged by worries about money, art, and infidelity...A tale of middle-aged ennui that gets sharper as it gets funnier.

Read Full Review of Who Is Rich?: A Novel | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Journal of Books

Above average
Reviewed by Richard Cytowic on Jul 18 2017

Who Is Rich? is a cautionary tale perhaps on mining life for one’s art. And of giving one’s fantasies too much free rein.

Read Full Review of Who Is Rich?: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Michael Schaub on Jul 13 2017

His admirers have had to wait since the Clinton administration for his next book, but happily, it’s worth it. “Who Is Rich?” is funny, maddening and, despite the well-worn subject matter, defiantly original.

Read Full Review of Who Is Rich?: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Mark Lawson on Jun 30 2018

Regardless of British qualms about the American takeover of the Man Booker prize, Who Is Rich? feels like another strong transatlantic candidate for 2018.

Read Full Review of Who Is Rich?: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

Reader Rating for Who Is Rich?
60%

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