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.
Advance praise for Who Is Rich?
“It’s amazing to wait so long for a book, and for it to be everything you wanted. The most singular quality of Matthew Klam’s writing is how alive it is. 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 with the mysteries of fatherhood and domesticity. Who Is Rich? is an electric amalgam of frustration and tenderness, wonder and rebellion: a paean to the obliterating power of parental love.”—Jennifer Egan
“I’ve been eagerly awaiting another book by Matthew Klam—and here it is, and it’s a stunner. This, his first novel, is funny, dark, big, and bold. I read it straight through, with great pleasure and awe at all he knows about art, money, family, sex, kids, mortality, and shame. Who Is Rich? is not to be missed.”—Meg Wolitzer
“By turns fierce, disturbing, and outright hilarious, Who Is Rich? is much more than a novel of midlife crisis; it’s a frank exploration of what it feels like to struggle as an artist and a man.”—Jonathan Tropper
“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.”—Richard Ford
About the Author:
Matthew Klam is the author of the acclaimed short story collection Sam the Cat. He is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, a Whiting Award, and a National Endowment for the Arts grant. His writing has been featured in publications including The New Yorker, Harper’s, GQ, The New York Times Magazine, The O. Henry Prize Stories, The Best American Nonrequired Reading, and The Ecco Anthology of Contemporary American Short Fiction.
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