The Material

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Product Details
$28.00  $26.04
Random House
Publish Date
6.28 X 9.5 X 1.03 inches | 1.07 pounds

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About the Author
Camille Bordas is the author of three prizewinning novels. The most recent, How to Behave in a Crowd, was the first she wrote in English. The earlier two, Partie Commune and Les Treize Desserts, were written in her native French. Her short stories have appeared in The New Yorker and The Paris Review. She has been named a Guggenheim Fellow. Born in France, raised in Mexico City and Paris, she currently lives in Chicago.
"Bordas seamlessly weaves together the neuroses, insecurities, and egos of her characters, yielding a novel that both skewers the comic impulse to turn everything into 'material, ' and manages to live up to the humor of its subject."--Bustle

"Entertaining and perceptive."--The Chicago Tribune

"With an emotional pendulum that can swing between pathos and bathos, [The Material] a high-wire act and masterclass in tone, observation and the beneath-the-surface substance."--Style Weekly

"Sinuous, intelligent."--Literary Review

"Brimming with insecure characters, clever repartee, dark jokes and funny riffs. . . Bordas makes a case that [emotion and comedy can] coexist."--The Wall Street Journal

"[The Material] is a stream of neurotic consciousness flowing from person to person, an extended 'take my smartphone -- please' routine, and an impressive piece of Q3 reading."--The New York Times

"The Material is laugh-out-loud funny and offers an incisive look at the deep sadness of trying to find a laugh when you need it the most."--The Chicago Review of Books

"A knockout."--Publishers Weekly

"Skillful, engrossing."--Times Literary Supplement

"Marvelously engaging and entertaining . . ."--The Independent

"Bordas is alert to the pitfalls [of writing about humor]--indeed, like the best comedians, she incorporates them into her set."--Sunday Times

"Camille Bordas has exposed the 'material' of stand-up by making stand-up her material. Writing comedy is difficult enough, but writing comedy bits that fail and comedy bits that succeed requires some brilliance. That brilliance is on display here."--Percival Everett, author of James and The Trees

"Bordas's novel is a deep and illuminating pleasure, full of insights about stand-up comedy, group dynamics, and the inner lives of artists."--Tom Perrotta, author of Tracy Flick Can't Win

"The Material is [damned funny]. It's also profound, deeply engrossing, dark and generous, a great novel about humans making art right now."--Sam Lipsyte, author of No One Left to Come Looking for You

"What begins as a clever conceit becomes an interrogation of sadness itself. Almost suspended in time, the novel elucidates the irreconcilability of learning and living, of performance and being."--Rachel Cusk, author of Second Place

"The Material is not only very funny but also incisive and insightful. . . . Come for the laughs, stay for the observations so deadpan and accurate that you may be blinded by your own reflection."--Ling Ma, author of Bliss Montage and Severance

"[The Material] is funny--fast and fizzy and dangerous . . . Beneath the laughs and digressions lies a surprisingly profound book about the costs and consolations of art."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review