The Body Politic


Product Details

Atria Books
Publish Date
6.1 X 1.3 X 9.1 inches | 1.05 pounds

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About the Author

Brian Platzer has an MFA from the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars, and a BA from Columbia University. His writing has appeared often in The New Yorker's "Shouts and Murmurs" and McSweeney's "Internet Tendency," as well as in The New York Times, The New Republic, Salon, and elsewhere. He lives with his wife and two young sons in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, and teaches middle school English in Manhattan. He is the author of the novels Bed-Stuy Is Burning and The Body Politic.


"For anyone who looks back on the past twenty years of American life and wonders how the hell did we get here, picking up Brian Platzer's The Body Politic is a good place to start. How many times when reading this novel did I stop and say, 'Like that, it all felt a lot like that.'" --Elliot Ackerman, author of Waiting for Eden
"An inherently character-driven tale, beautifully written, and a fine example of a long, strange trip." --Library Journal
"Brian Platzer has done something marvelous -- transmuted the queasy early years of the Trump presidency into a novel that's a delight to read. The Body Politic is a book about many things -- what it means to be unwell, what it means to heal, how deep and strange friendships can be, and how hidden things never stay hidden for long. I was grateful for its engaging, empathetic company during these fractious times." --Rachel Monroe, author of Savage Appetites
"Brian Platzer's The Body Politic is my favorite kind of book: a novel that swings for the fences. It's smart and bold and a little bit brutal. The book it reminds me of the most is Claire Messud's The Emperor's Children--it has the same kind of expansive scope, and dark bite. Lots of people are writing books that attempt to capture the current political moment; fewer people are writing honestly about how it feels to live in it - and all the ways it's changing us." --Kristen Roupenian, author of You Know You Want This
"A cleverly constructed and emotionally compelling novel about the common disappointments and surprising consolations of middle age. The Body Politic captures the ambient dread of chronic illness with extraordinary precision and striking insight." --Jenny Offill, author of Dept. of Speculation
"Platzer's (Bed-Stuy is Burning, 2018) second novel is about four friends in their thirties in New York City. But The Body Politic is bold in other ways. Firmly set in the almost-present aftermath of the 2016 election, it's propelled by real-world headlines." --Booklist
"Riveting, full of cliffhanger chapter endings and surprise twists... Mr. Platzer deftly swivels among the clashing points of view, and the climax, in which Aaron returns to disperse the crowd with an improvised sermon, is powerfully done." --Wall Street Journal
"Heart pounding and relentless...Bed-Stuy is Burning offers a suspenseful, well written, and empathetic story filled with wit, wisdom, and hard truths....An engaging, timely, and provocative read." --Jewish Book Council
"Brian Platzer's first novel captures a violent day in the uneasy life of a gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhood where the fragility of love, parenthood, class and race is put to the test. A bad day in Bed-Stuy is a vivid microcosm of the United States, but the hope Platzer suggests with his characters' healthy unmasking offers optimism for the whole country's days ahead." --Shelf Awareness
"A debut novel about class conflict, race and gentrification. Reminiscent of Bonfire of the Vanities." --New York Post
"The city is burning indeed in New Yorker contributor Platzer's debut novel, sometimes with fire and sometimes with much-compounded shame... Expertly paced, eminently readable, and a promising start." --Kirkus Reviews
"Platzer, a writer and educator who lives in Bed-Stuy, is aiming high here, addressing race-related violence, the Black Lives Matter movement, gentrification, and other volatile topics. He succeeds in presenting multiple perspectives of dramatic yet familiar situations." --Booklist
"[A] dramatic first novel... the prose is energetic, and Platzer is obviously committed to exploring these contemporary urban issues." --Library Journal
"Platzer clearly knows his turf. A Bed-Stuy resident himself, he convincingly sketches out how thin the neighborhood's peaceful veneer is." --Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Brian Platzer's first novel is a savvy, heartfelt and utterly engaging examination of gentrification, love, race, ambition, money, parenthood and even faith. A Bonfire of the Vanities for millennials, it is a marvelous, and daring, debut." --Alice McDermott, National Book Award-winning author of Charming Billy
Praise for Bed-Stuy is Burning:

"Platzer's take on race, religion, class, and politics--all the subjects you're not supposed to discuss--is sure to get people talking." --Vanity Fair