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Menage Paperback – May 15, 2012
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“The voice that has for three decades provided a lyrical narrative of the changing position of women in American society.” —New York Times
"Alix Kates Shulman's many readers will be grateful to see her return to fiction in full force, with this delectable social satire that deftly and even-handedly skewers her three main characters. Shulman's devilishly clever wit and uncommonly keen vision of marriage, ambition, and self-interest hurtling against each other make Ménage an altogether wonderful read. I was sorry to reach the last page!" —Lynne Sharon Schwartz, author of The Writing on the Wall
"In this wise and witty novel, Shulman displays once again her astute understanding of the loaded relationships between males and females that earned her fame with her first novel, The Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen." —The Star Tribune
“The dynamics of the triangle in Ménage keep changing, but Alix Kates Shulman’s take on modern marriage is consistently inventive, witty and smart.” —Hilma Wolitzer, author of An Available Man
“A lighthearted read with an urbane twist; many readers will enjoy.” —Library Journal
“In a delectably mischievous return to fiction, [Shulman] detonates our brittle assumptions about marriage and creativity… Saucy Shulman orchestrates a brilliantly wry and entertaining comedy of desires…[the] hilarious dynamics of this ‘odd ménage’ heat up and illuminate the cracks in our fantasies about wealth, fame, sex, and art.” —Booklist
“A surprisingly tart little literary satire…Shulman is delightfully wicked.” —Kirkus Reviews
“An irreverent comedy about an affluent couple who, in a bid for cultural cachet, take in a dissident writer, only to have sex complicate everything.” —Karen Holt, O Magazine
“In this wry and delicious novel by the author of Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen, a couple in a boring marriage offer to share their lavish home with a celebrated but penniless writer…The trio is not a sexual threesome, but each individual lusts for something, and the household dynamic seethes with the raging needs of their egos…The characters are selfish and self-absorbed, but the sharp and entertaining satire that emerges from their comic triangle expertly skewers modern notions of marriage, celebrity and success.” —People Magazine
“It’s a sharp little satire, and it goes down quick like a stiff drink.” –Jessa Crispin, founder of Bookslut, Kirkus
More About the Author
She became a civil rights activist in 1961 and a feminist activist in 1967, published her first book in 1970, and taught her first class in 1973--all lifelong pursuits that have found their way into her books.
Having explored in her novels the challenges of youth and midlife, in her memoirs she has probed the later stages in the ongoing drama of her generation of women, taking on the terrors and rewards of solitude, of her parents' final years, and of her late-life calling as caregiver to her beloved husband, with whom she lives in New York City.
She is the author of:
Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen
On the Stroll
In Every Woman's Life...
Drinking the Rain
A Good Enough Daughter
To Love What Is: A Marriage Transformed
A Marriage Agreement and Other Essays: Four Decades of Feminist Writing
two books on the anarchist-feminist Emma Goldman:
To the Barricades (biography)
Red Emma Speaks (collection)
and three books for children:
Bosley on the Number Line
Awake and Asleep
For more information, see AlixKShulman.com.
Top Customer Reviews
Mack's wife Heather suspects Mack is having an affair with Maja ... or if not Maja, with someone. Heather's many resentments include her decision to quit her position as an assistant editor to become a stay-at-home mom (with the help of a nanny and maid), thus diminishing her power as Mack's increased. She wants to write but she can't summon the will to work. Heather initially welcomes the arrival of Zoltan (like the death of Maja) as a needed boost to revitalize her marriage, or her writing career, or at least her sex life. She quickly enough comes to regret Mack's decision to invite Zoltan into her house.
Zoltan's promise to teach Mack and Heather the secrets of life is arguably fulfilled by the novel's end, although not in ways that Mack and Heather anticipate. Therein lies the charm of this character-driven novel.Read more ›
I don't really think either of the main characters are people I'd like to spend time with, so seriously flawed, wearing blinders to the needs of each other and imperfect!
Loved Zoltan Barbu. Was he a charlatan or a truly gifted person? Did he take advantage of others because his genius wouldn't allow him to even know how to be pragmatic? or was he a doing the best he could? Can an artist create on demand? Some seem to be able to others can't. Who is the real artist? Are those who can't taking advantage of the rest of us?
I was very surprised at the ending. Heather seems to be happy with her situation and Mack also. I really expected Heather to still be longing for the excitement and tension that occurred when Zoltan was around and to be desperate for it. Are they just well-balanced people who take the best that is around them and forget about the other things? Do they learn lessons and use them to make their day to day life more livable? Are they just normal people doing the best they can do?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you decide to give this novel a try based on the positive reviews regarding its humor and somewhat jaded presentation of modern marriage among the affluent in our culture, be... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Swallowtail
I'll admit, I'm a big fan of this author- the release of Menage went under my radar, so I was thrilled to find it, albeit a bit late. Read morePublished on October 20, 2013 by sarah ladd
Ok read but not very interesting or fun. The book is hard to understand and kind of leaves you hanging.Published on June 21, 2013 by lol Nick
I didn[t care for the writing style and felt it lacked something. Didn't hold my interest and thought it could have been more exciting.Published on February 10, 2013 by debra lacy
Just could not stay engaged with this one. Skipped through to the end. Blah...Not worth the time and money. Nyet.Published on January 18, 2013 by C. Sparkle
I was so looking forward to this book after the reviews. But it was boring.
This man invites this "author" to live in his house and well he just takes advantage of them and... Read more
It just didnt kinda didnt go anywhere story wise...personally I couldnt see the point...it starts with a great plot/story line and then kinda of went nowhere.. Read morePublished on December 6, 2012 by Tachi
This was recommended because I had ordered The Grey Trilogy but this is nothing like those books! I kept reading, hoping something exciting was going to happen but no go. Read morePublished on October 11, 2012 by gatesabc
In brief, a very poorly told, "The Man Who Came To Dinner" wanna-be. And I hung in there to the bitter end.Published on August 10, 2012 by Tina2seaside