Revenge of the Scapegoat
Caren Beilin (Author)
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DescriptionFrom the author of Blackfishing the IUD, a darkly hilarious novel about familial trauma, chronic illness, academic labor, and contemporary art. In the tradition of Rabelais, Swift, and Fran Ross--the tradition of biting satire that joyfully embraces the strange and fantastical--and drawing upon documentary strategies from Sheila Heti, Caren Beilin offers a tale of familial trauma that is also a broadly inclusive skewering of academia, the medical industry, and the contemporary art scene. One day Iris, an adjunct at a city arts college, receives a terrible package: recently unearthed letters that her father had written to her in her teens, in which he blames her for their family's crises. Driven by the raw fact of receiving these devastating letters not once but twice in a lifetime, and in a panic of chronic pain brought on by rheumatoid arthritis, Iris escapes to the countryside--or some absurdist version of it. Nazi cows, Picassos used as tampons, and a pair of arthritic feet that speak in the voices of Flaubert's Bouvard and Pécuchet are standard fare in this beguiling novel of odd characters, surprising circumstances, and intuitive leaps, all brought together in profoundly serious ways.
Dorothy a Publishing Project
April 12, 2022
5.57 X 7.08 X 0.51 inches | 0.41 pounds
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About the Author
Caren Beilin is the author most recently of a nonfiction book, Blackfishing the IUD, and a memoir, Spain. She teaches creative writing at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and lives close by, in Vermont.
The author lands on an infectious and perfect blend of cultural criticism, wry writing advice ('Don't bother writing a character since people change'), and magnificently weird storytelling. Belin's account of reemergence manages to be both hilarious and deeply moving. Publishers Weekly, starred review "Animated with the moxie and wit of Acker and Tillman, Caren Beilin is one of the most bizarre and fearless writers of her generation. Revenge of the Scapegoat is a surreal take on the tendency people have to damage those we claim to love and the way parental cruelty renders the world unrecognizable." --Catherine Lacey