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The Morelsby Christopher Hacker
Synopses & Reviews
The Morels — Arthur, Penny, and Will — are a happy family of three living in New York City. So why would Arthur choose to publish a book that brutally rips his tightly knit family unit apart at the seams? Arthur's old schoolmate Chris, who narrates the book, is fascinated with this very question as he becomes accidentally reacquainted with Arthur. A single, aspiring filmmaker who works in a movie theater, Chris envies everything Arthur has, from his beautiful wife to his charming son to his seemingly effortless creativity. But things are not always what they seem.
The Morels takes a unique look at the power of art — literature, music and film in particular — and challenges us as readers to think about some fascinating questions to which there are no easy answers. Where is the line between art and obscenity, between truth and fiction, between revolutionary thinking and brainless shock value, between craftsmanship and commerce? Is it possible to escape the past? Can you save your family by destroying it?
“Christopher Hacker's The Morels is a captivating book, a clever, engaging read. But it also does a lot of heavy lifting, asking big questions about art, life, and family, transforming this ambitious debut into something really special.” Jami Attenberg, author of The Middlesteins
"One of the big questions irreverently raised in this literary pantheon of irreverence is, So what exactly is art anyway? I can tell you this much: The Morels is a brilliant and wickedly hilarious debut novel about artists of all stripes. With a sharp-shooter's eye, alarming honesty and serious wit infused with palpable compassion and affection for his characters, Christopher Hacker has written a rollicking picnic for cynics. And what exactly is art anyway?" Binnie Kirshenbaum, author of The Scenic Route
"The Morels is a daring and dangerous novel about the dangers of writing — and perhaps reading — novels, its pages stuffed with love, pain, worry, movies, music, fresh-baked bread, daily life in the real Manhattan, family secrets and, dare I say it, big bold ideas." David Gordon, author of The Serialist
"It's hard out there for sons and lovers in Christopher Hacker's accomplished debut, The Morels. To step into both this novel and the eponymous family it harbors is to peek into a house of mirrors that reminds us it can still be dangerous to write a novel, expose a strip of film to light — or make any kind of art, really. Hacker's splendid snapshot of a distinct cultural moment in the life of the American artist truly beguiles, and you're going to want to see how this multi-layered, flying-trapeze-routine of a story ends." T Cooper, author of Real Man Adventures
"Hacker's novel asks fundamental questions about imagination and art....An unnerving and hugely satisfying novel, I hungrily read The Morels less for answers than for the pleasure of the messy and vital world Hacker creates.” Victoria Redel, author of The Border of Truth
About the Author
Christopher Hacker received a BA in Music Composition from the University of Michigan and an MFA from Columbia University. His stories have appeared in Quarterly West and The Rake, and he was a finalist for a Pushcart Prize in 2009. He currently lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife.
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