Louise, Buzzy, Anna, Portia, and Emery: striking characters individually, but together they are an unforgettable family. Triumphantly dysfunctional, painfully hilarious. Jessica Anya Blau's new book, Drinking Closer to Home, is a rich portrait — wacky, outrageous, and surprisingly human — that ultimately pays homage to one of the odd treasures of family: the way dysfunction and love come together to create something uniquely one's own. Recommended By Gigi L., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
“Riveting and startling….So raw and funny I wanted to read parts aloud to strangers.” —Dylan Landis, author of Normal People Don't Live Like This
“Jessica Anya Blau…creates characters that have a lot more depth and more of a past than one often sees in fiction these days…. I found it impossible not to care about them—and equally impossible to forget them. Blau is a magnificent writer, and this is one special novel.” —Steve Yarbrough, author of Safe from the Neighbors
From Jessica Anya Blau, critically-acclaimed author of The Summer of Naked Swim Parties, comes a new novel of California, growing up, and learning to love your insane family. Perfect for fans of Jess Walter, Kevin Wilson, and Michael Chabon, Drinking Closer to Home is a poignant and funny exploration of one familys over-the-top eccentricities—a book Ron Tanner calls “heartfelt and hilarious.”
"Blau's second novel (after The Summer of Naked Swim Parties) revolves around a family in crisis after a mother's debilitating heart attack. The troubled adult children of Buzzy and Louise come home to visit their parents on their hippie ranch in Santa Barbara, Cal., 'where the days are so sunny you'd swear a nuclear reactor had exploded.' Sisters Anna and Portia, and brother Emery, recall the events that led them to their restless present. Emery and his partner, Alejandro, tip-toe around the topic of asking a sister to donate eggs so that they can have a child. During their week-long visit everyone must deal with uncomfortable details about their parents' personal lives, as well as the ghosts of the people they once were, wishing that they could leave their childhood wounds behind once and for all. Blau writes funny, often heartbreaking, and always relatable anecdotes. She aptly describes the family visiting Louise in the hospital: 'every day, a moment comes when someone can no longer take sitting in the beeping, stinking room.' Blau's lifelike characters are such a joy to get to know that one feels sorry to leave them behind. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
They say you can never really go home again. Adult siblings Anna, Portia, and Emery are about to discover just how true that is.
About the Author
Jessica Anya Blau is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and the Johns Hopkins University, where she received her master's degree. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland, where she teaches creative writing at Johns Hopkins.