Joyce and Marshall Harriman are in the midst of a contentious divorce, but still sharing a cramped, overmortgaged Brooklyn apartment with their two children.
On the morning of September 11, Joyce departs for Newark to catch a flight to San Francisco, and Marshall, after dropping the kids at daycare, heads for his office in the World Trade Center.
She misses her flight and he's late for work, but on that grim day, in the devastated city, among millions seized by fear and grief, each thinks the other is dead, and each is secretly, shamefully, gloriously happy. As their bitter divorce is further complicated by anthrax scares, suicide bombs, foreign wars, and the stock market collapse, they suffer, in ways unexpectedly personal and increasingly ludicrous, the many strange ravages of our time.
In this astonishing black comedy, Kalfus suggests how our nation's public calamities have encroached upon our most private illusions.
Ken Kalfus is the author of a novel, The Commissariat of Enlightenment, and the short story collections, Thirst, which won the Salon Book Award, and Pu-239 and Other Russian Fantasies which was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. A Disorder Peculiar to the Country was a National Book Award finalist for 2006.
"Kalfus is an endlessly ingenious writer….Features some of the best fiction writing yet about September 11….A brilliant comedy of manners…about the way a conflict takes on a logic and momentum of its own."—Salon.com
"My inner idealist hopes Kalfus' novel joins the ranks of Fahrenheit 451 and 1984 on the required reading lists."—Philadelphia Magazine
"Kalfus' new novel [is] like a fever dream of recent events…Through the interbleeding of public and private story lines and his lampooning approach, Kalfus [is] freeing the way we think about September 11….If hyperbole can be weaponized anywhere in literature, it is here."—Los Angeles Times Book Review
Read by James Boles, Direction, Mastering and Original Music by Peter Pantelis.