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The Portable Veblen

The Portable Veblen

作者 : Elizabeth McKenzie

出版社 : PENGUIN GROUP (USA) INC.

可訂購

定價 : NT 560

售價79折, NT442

內容簡介


美國國家圖書獎小說類提名
Baileys女性小說獎決選

即將步入婚姻的年輕男女,發現彼此的婚約竟在瓦解的邊緣。他們要如何克服父母帶給他們的陰影,避開一個藥廠女繼承人的誘惑?與一隻松鼠之間的竊竊私語又能給他們帶來什麼樣的啟發?

「以松鼠為次要情節的文學小說聽起來不太可能,但是McKenzie很輕巧地穿過了合理與荒謬之間的那條線。Veblen,書中的核心與靈魂,以她對自然與人為世界的驚奇感贏得了我們的心。這種驚奇瀰漫在這本怪異又吸引人的小說中。」
 --《紐約時報》書評

Palo Alto – 曾經是嬉皮運動的發源地,如今是美國高科技的重鎮,新舊價值觀在此激烈地碰撞。

Veblen – 她的名字是以19世紀的社會學家Thorstein Veblen為名所起的,此公在《有閒階級的理論》一書中,創造了”炫耀性消費”一詞。而我們的女主角Veblen,是個住在平房的業餘譯者,自認為是”自由業”,換句話說,是個生活漫無目的的飄浮者。她的母親是個自戀的疑病症患者,父親長期住在機構中而失去自立的能力,Veblen在不太自由的生活中,卻能對事物一直保持好奇心。

Paul - Veblen的未婚夫,一個神經科學家,父母曾經是崇尚裸體的嬉皮,現在還在種植大麻。Paul的醫學研究幫助他發明了一種在戰場上可以將腦受損降至最低的裝置,因此與美國國防部簽下了高風險的合約。當Paul被即將到來的名利沖昏頭時,Veblen平靜地面對可能破壞他們婚禮的各方人馬,直到她發現受到某人、或者說某物的吸引。

作者Elizabeth McKenzie在這本小說中要探問的是:家人在哪裡結束,我們又在哪裡開始?如何不忘初衷?還有,那隻松鼠到底在想什麼?書中讓人發噱的照片以及會心一笑的附錄,不僅是一種讓人興奮的閱讀經驗,它也要我們思考,我們在愛當中所要追尋的到底是什麼?

Longlisted for the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction

Finalist for the Baileys Prize for Women's Fiction

An exuberant, one-of-a-kind novel about love and family, war and nature, new money and old values by a brilliant New Yorker contributor

The Portable Veblen is a dazzlingly original novel that’s as big-hearted as it is laugh-out-loud funny. Set in and around Palo Alto, amid the culture clash of new money and old (antiestablishment) values, and with the specter of our current wars looming across its pages, The Portable Veblen is an unforgettable look at the way we live now. A young couple on the brink of marriage—the charming Veblen and her fiancé Paul, a brilliant neurologist—find their engagement in danger of collapse. Along the way they weather everything from each other’s dysfunctional families, to the attentions of a seductive pharmaceutical heiress, to an intimate tête-à-tête with a very charismatic squirrel.

Veblen (named after the iconoclastic economist Thorstein Veblen, who coined the term “conspicuous consumption”) is one of the most refreshing heroines in recent fiction. Not quite liberated from the burdens of her hypochondriac, narcissistic mother and her institutionalized father, Veblen is an amateur translator and “freelance self”; in other words, she’s adrift. Meanwhile, Paul—the product of good hippies who were bad parents—finds his ambition soaring. His medical research has led to the development of a device to help minimize battlefield brain trauma—an invention that gets him swept up in a high-stakes deal with the Department of Defense, a Bizarro World that McKenzie satirizes with granular specificity.

As Paul is swept up by the promise of fame and fortune, Veblen heroically keeps the peace between all the damaged parties involved in their upcoming wedding, until she finds herself falling for someone—or something—else. Throughout, Elizabeth McKenzie asks: Where do our families end and we begin? How do we stay true to our ideals? And what is that squirrel really thinking? Replete with deadpan photos and sly appendices, The Portable Veblen is at once an honest inquiry into what we look for in love and an electrifying reading experience.
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作者介紹
■作者簡介

Elizabeth McKenzie

是《我的戰後生活》(My Postwar Life)編輯,文章常出現在《紐約客》、《亞特蘭大月刊》…等。
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