Synopses & Reviews
The Convalescent is the story of a small, bearded man selling meat out of a bus parked next to a stream in suburban Virginia... and also, somehow, the story of ten thousand years of Hungarian history. Jessica Anthony, the inaugural winner of the Amanda Davis Highwire Fiction Award, makes an unforgettable debut with an unforgettable hero: Rovar Ákos Pfliegman unlikely bandit, unloved lover, and historian of the unimportant.
"Anthony's compulsively readable debut novel stars Rovar Pfliegman, who sells meat out of a bus in Virginia....Along the way, the narrative nods to all sorts of greats-Kafka, Rushdie, Darwin and Grass, to name a few. But Anthony's style — funny, immediate and unapologetically cerebral — carves out a space all its own." Publishers Weekly
"Jessica Anthony has given a voice — wry, sad, and arresting — to the wounded little homunculus that lives, largely ignored, in all of us, a creature that wrestles with a guilt and grief that is as historical as it is personal. The Convalescent is a melancholy delight." Chris Adrian, author of The Children's Hospital
"Jessica Anthony is a writer possessed of mind-bending talents. Inconceivably, she's written a novel that's innocent and wise, grave and hilarious, bleak and hopeful, fast-paced and meditative, heartbreaking and heart healthy, evanescent and concrete. Reading it, I felt as though I'd stumbled upon a magical text that might, at any moment, disappear from my hands. The Convalescent is that kind of special." Heidi Julavits
"A blissfully nutty, brainy, ribald, brilliantly imaginative ode to human loneliness, oddity, and persistence." Francisco Goldman, author of The Long Night of White Chickens
About the Author
Jessica Anthony was born in upstate New York in a small agricultural community sandwiched between a Native American reservation and a cutlery factory. Her fiction has appeared in Best New American Voices, Best American Nonrequired Reading, McSweeney's, Mid-American Review, New American Writing, and elsewhere. She is the winner of the Amanda Davis Highwire Fiction Award, the Summer Literary Seminars fiction contest, and has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony, the Millay Colony, the Ucross Foundation, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She lives in Portland, Maine