Information about the author.
In a rollicking black comedy about terrorism, war, and conjugal strife, the author whom Salon calls “a writer of chameleonic fluency” revisits some peculiar episodes in current American history.
Joyce and Marshall Harriman are struggling to divorce each other while sharing a cramped, hateful Brooklyn apartment with their two small children. One late-summer morning, Joyce departs for Newark Airport to catch a flight to San Francisco, and Marshall goes to his office in the World Trade Center. She misses her flight, and he’s late for work, but on that grim day, in a devastated city, among millions seized by fear and grief, each thinks the other’s dead and each is secretly, shamefully, gloriously happy.
Opening with a swift kick to our national piety, A Disorder Peculiar to the Country follows Joyce and Marshall…[more]
In this new book of fiction, Ken Kalfus plucks individual lives from the stew of a century of Russian history and serves them up in tales that range from hair-raising to comic to fabulous.
The title story follows a nuclear power plant worker as he hawks a most unusual package on the black market - a canister of weapons-grade plutonium (Pu-239). “Budyonnovsk” skewers the relationship between Moscow and Chechnya. “Salt” is an economic fairy tale, featuring kings, princesses, and swiftly melting currencies. The novella “Peredelkino” traces the fortunes of an editor and critic during the liberalizing 1960s who faces, among other things, the prospect of reviewing historical fiction by one “L. I. Brezhnev.