In a season filled with political rancor, we welcome humor and an artist’s sensibilities to bring in new perspectives. David Leavitt discussed his new comedic work—Shelter in Place—with artist and essayist David Salle. Shelter in Place is a prescient title for a novel that uses social satire to explore the aftermath of the 2016 election among a group of wealthy white literary New Yorkers.
Shelter in Place
By David Leavitt
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing
It is the Saturday after the 2016 presidential election, and in a plush weekend house in Connecticut, a group of New Yorkers has gathered to recover from what they consider the greatest political catastrophe of their lives. Liberal and like-minded, the friends have come to the countryside in the hope of restoring the bubble in which they have grown used to living.
Moving through her days accompanied by a carefully curated salon, Eva Lindquist is a generous hostess with an obsession for decorating. Yet when, in her avidity to secure shelter for herself, she persuades her husband to buy a grand if dilapidated apartment in Venice, she unwittingly sets off the chain of events that will propel him to venture outside the bubble and embark on an unexpected love affair.
A slyly comic look at the shelter industry, Shelter in Place is a novel about house and home, furniture and rooms, safety and freedom and the insidious ways in which political upheaval can undermine even the most seemingly impregnable foundations.