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The Kept Manby Jami Attenberg
Synopses & Reviews
A riveting debut novel from a rising literary star about a young woman whose husband has fallen into a coma, and her discovery of evidence that casts doubt on their marriage.
Six years ago, Jarvis Miller's husband, an artist whose career was just starting to gain momentum, fell into a coma. And ever since, Jarvis has been waiting. At first, she was waiting for him to wake up so that their happy marriage could be continued. But she's spent too many years of dwindling hope, living as a half-widow, and selling off more and more pieces of his artwork to power the machines that keep him alive. Now, Jarvis has come to admit that she's waiting for her husband to die.
One spring day at the local laundromat, Jarvis meets the members of the Kept Man Club: three handsome, interesting men, all married to breadwinner wives, who gather once a week on laundry day. Their companionship opens her eyes to the possibilities of family and friendship she's been missing for so many years. At the same time, her husband's best friend and his art dealer pressure Jarvis to collect the remainder of his work for a retrospective-a proposition that engenders mixed feelings, since it's usually an honor reserved for the already dead. Sorting through a hidden box of photographs, she uncovers evidence of a shocking betrayal that calls into question her idealized vision of the past.
Told in a spare and utterly compelling narrative voice, The Kept Man is a compulsively readable novel about love and loss, one that is sure to establish Jami Attenberg as one of our most dynamic new storytellers.
"An engaging and innovative first novel." Library Journal
"Attenberg does have a keen eye for detail and weaves an intriguing tale." Booklist
Now in paperback, from the author of the bestselling The Middlesteins: the novel that's "unabashedly emotional, refreshingly devoid of New York City cynicism, and tenderly funny?" (People).
Jarvis Miller's artist husband has been in a coma for six years. And so, Jarvis has spent these years suspended between hope and grief, paralyzed with longing for a life and a marriage that are slipping away. But then, unexpectedly, Jarvis makes her first new friends in years when she meets the Kept Man Club: three men whose lifestyles are funded by their successful wives, who gather once a week on laundry day. With their help, she reawakens to the city beyond her Brooklyn apartment, past the pitying eyes of her husband?s art dealer and his irresponsible best friend as her future begins to take on the irresistible tingles of possibility for the first time in almost a decade. When a shocking discovery casts a different light on her idealized marriage, she's propelled even further down a path that she would never have dared to imagine just months before. Tender, bold, and unabashed, The Kept Man is a compulsively readable novel about love and loss from one of our most dynamic new storytellers.
About the Author
Jami Attenberg is the author of the story collection Instant Love. She has written for Jane, Salon, Nylon, Print, the San Francisco Chronicle, Entertainment Weekly, and Time Out New York, and her fiction has appeared in Nerve, Pindeldyboz, Spork, and Bullfight Review.
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