The Index of Self-Destructive Acts
LONGLISTED FOR THE 2020 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD
"A significant novel, beautifully crafted and deeply felt. Beha creates a high bonfire of our era's vanities. . . . This is a novel to savor." --Colum McCann
Through baseball, finance, media, and religion, Beha traces the passing of the torch from the old establishment to the new meritocracy, exploring how each generation's failure helped land us where we are today.
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About the Author
Christopher Beha is the editor of Harper's Magazine. He is the author of two previous novels, What Happened to Sophie Wilder and Arts & Entertainments, and a memoir, The Whole Five Feet. His writing has appeared in the New York Review of Books, the New York Times, and the London Review of Books. He lives in New York City with his wife and family.
Beha's earlier work has been rightfully compared to the work of Graham Greene, and in this new novel Beha does what only Greene and a handful of other novelists have been able to accomplish: make God, belief, and doubt the stuff of serious fiction--even down to the probing dialogue of his characters.--Nick Ripatrazone
Beha's marvelous new novel is about, and more often than not exemplifies, pretty much everything good that New York City has lost in the past few bad years: wit, liberalism, journalism, and the dignity of self-destruction.--Joshua Cohen, author of Attention: Dispatches from a Land of Distraction
Beha is a sneaky-great plot-maker and thinker; by the time he wraps up this compassionate 21st-century tale of ambitious people looking for somewhere to place their faith--religion, statistics, love, money, country--you can see the clouds starting to gather into the moral Category 5 we're currently enduring.--Jonathan Dee, author of The Locals
Its breadth, ambition, and command are refreshing. An admirably big-picture, multivalent family saga.
A book's worth of thoughtful essays folded into a kick-ass novel.--Nell Zink
Filled with stunning acts of hubris and betrayal, Beha's deliciously downbeat novel picks apart the zeitgeist, revealing a culture of schemers and charlatans. This cutting send-up of New York progressive elitism should do much to expand Beha's audience.