Alix Kates Shulman: Menage
Tuesday May 15, 2012
Photo: Marion Ettlinger
“The voice that has for three decades provided a lyrical narrative of the changing position of women in American society.” — New York Times
We threw a launch party in celebration of Alix Kates Shulman's new satirical novel Ménage, marking her return to fiction after two decades. Alix Kates Shulman read and presented a retrospective of her writing career followed by a reception.
"Delightfully wicked" -- Kirkus Reviews
"Delectably mischievous ... a brilliantly wry and entertaining comedy of desires" -- Booklist
Heather and Mack McKay seem to have it all: wealth, a dream house in the suburbs, and two adorable children along with the nannies to raise them. But their marriage has lost its savor: she is a frustrated writer and he longs for a cultural trophy to hang on his belt.
During a chance encounter in L.A., Mack invites exiled writer Zoltan Barbu—once lionized as a political hero, now becoming a has-been—to live with him and his wife in their luxurious home. The plan should provide Heather with literary companionship, Mack with cultural cachet, and Zoltan himself with a pastoral environment in which to overcome his writer's block and produce a masterpiece.
Of course, as happens with triangles, complications arise as the three players pursue a game that leads to shifting alliances and sexual misadventures. Shulman pokes fun at our modern malaise (why is having it all never enough?) and expertly traces the ever-changing dynamics within a marriage. Ménage is a bravura performance from one of America's most renowned feminist writers
Alix Kates Shulman is the author of fourteen books: the feminist classic Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen and three other novels; three memoirs, including the award-winning Drinking the Rain; two books on the anarchist Emma Goldman; and childrens' books. Her work has been translated into twelve languages, and her essays have appeared in the New York Times, Salon, The Nation, and The Guardian. Ménage, her fifth novel, as well as A Marriage Agreement and Other Essays: Four Decades of Feminist Writing, are being published on the occasion of her eightieth birthday.