Rabbits for Food

Binnie Kirshenbaum

ISBN: 9781641290531

Published: May, 2019

Pricing

Hardcover $26.00

eBook $14.99

Binnie Kirshenbaum

New York City

View More

Description

Master of razor-edged literary humor Binnie Kirshenbaum returns with her first novel in a decade, a devastating, laugh-out-loud funny story of a writer’s slide into depression and institutionalization.

It’s New Year’s Eve, the holiday of forced fellowship, mandatory fun, and paper hats. While dining out with her husband an...

Master of razor-edged literary humor Binnie Kirshenbaum returns with her first novel in a decade, a devastating, laugh-out-loud funny story of a writer’s slide into depression and institutionalization.

It’s New Year’s Eve, the holiday of forced fellowship, mandatory fun, and paper hats. While dining out with her husband and their friends, Kirshenbaum’s protagonist—an acerbic, mordantly witty, and clinically depressed writer—fully unravels. Her breakdown lands her in the psych ward of a prestigious New York hospital where she refuses all modes of recommended treatment. Instead, she passes the time chronicling the lives of her fellow “lunatics” and writing a novel about how she got to this place. Her story is a hilarious and harrowing deep dive into the disordered mind of a woman who sees the world all too clearly.

Propelled by stand-up comic timing and rife with pinpoint insights, Kirshenbaum examines what it means to be unloved and loved, to succeed and fail, to be at once impervious and raw. Rabbits for Food shows how art can lead us out of—or into—the depths of disconsolate loneliness and piercing grief. A bravura literary performance from one of our most witty and indispensable writers.

Choose a retailer

Media

“Binnie Kirshenbaum has hit her considerable stride in Rabbits for Food. This novel is compulsive reading; it's wonderfully paced, explosively funny and witty, and very, very wise about many grave things—but mostly about merely being human.”
—Richard Ford
“Psychiatric dayroom dark and just as funny, Rabbits for Food breaks down the mental breakdown into disquieting bite-sized pieces. It’s fast-paced and turbulent, but beautifully complex, and the details are stunning. So chew slowly—this is one you'll want to savor.”
—Paul Beatty, author of The Sellout
“Brilliant insight and gleaming prose light up this report from the darkest interior... Kirshenbaum conducts us on the journey with steady authorial nerves, high-wire insouciance, quicksilver wit, and limitless compassion.”
—Deborah Eisenberg, author of Your Duck Is My Duck
“A joy-giving and hilarious letter from the realm of despair. Also, somehow, a gentle love story. Marvelous and beautiful.”
—Rivka Galchen
“Funny, tender and heartbreaking, often in the same line, Rabbits for Food is a remarkable examination of the fault lines that run through us all. Wit and anger jostle for space with constant intelligence and subversiveness.”
—Tash Aw
“Kirshenbaum is a remarkable writer of fiercely observed fiction and a bleak, stark wit; her latest novel is as moving as it is funny, and that—truly—is saying something.”
—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
“The female narrator I’ve been waiting for. Wickedly funny as well as seriously depressed, she waits while in the psychiatric hospital for the therapy dog that never shows up. Trying to read her face is 'like trying to figure out what a napkin is thinking.' Her mania flies 'like a bat at night.' A birthday card from her best friend Stella reads: 'You Put the Fun in Dysfunctional.' Binnie Kirshenbaum, the great novelist of female neurosis, has given us, in Rabbits for Food, the only story that really matters—a troubled soul deciding if life is worth living or not.”
—Darcey Steinke, author of Flash Count Diary
“Every now and then you're lucky enough to read a book that declares its own authority in a straightforward and unapologetic way. Rabbits for Food is that kind of book—haunted, astringent, and grimly funny, it explores without a grain of sentimentality or exaggeration the sort of crisis that any of us might fall prey to. In her 'unlikeable' protagonist, Binnie Kirshenbaum has created a hero for our time: articulate but misunderstood, loved but lonely, unsuccessful but not a failure, sophisticated to the point of jadedness, and on the verge of a devastating breakdown. Prepare to recognize yourself in both the petty details of her life and the profound distortions of her thinking.”
—Christopher Sorrentino, author of The Fugitives
Rabbits for Food is startling and fascinating. Binnie Kirshenbaum’s complex and insightful novel looks seriously, and ironically, at the life of a clinically depressed woman, and her commitment in a 'psycho ward.' Kirshenbaum might have written this with a blade, her wit is that sharp and deep. Cutting to the bone, Kirshenbaum allows no sentimentality in this bracing novel. Rabbits for Food is stark in its descriptions, beautifully written, weirdly funny, and engrossing. I was riveted.”
—Lynne Tillman, author of Men and Apparitions