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Beschreibung des Verlags
‘Extremely funny, weirdly touching and acute about families’ – Guardian
‘Daring, provocative and controversial . . . a work of genius’ – Scotsman
‘Terrifically funny . . . Close-to-the-knuckle farce with a big beating heart’ – Daily Mail
Seventh Seltzer has done everything he can to break from the traditions of the past, but in his overbearing, narcissistic mother’s last moments, she whispers in his ear the two words he always knew she would: ‘Eat me’.
This is not unusual, as the Seltzers are Cannibal-Americans, a once proud and thriving ethnic group, but for Seventh, it raises some serious questions. Of practical concern, she’s six-foot-two and weighs over thirty stone – even divided up between Seventh and his eleven brothers, that's a lot of red meat. Plus, Second keeps kosher, Ninth is vegan and Sixth is dead. To make matters worse, even if he can wrangle his brothers together for a feast, the Can-Am people have assimilated, and the only living Cannibal who knows how to perform the ancient ritual is their Uncle Ishmael, a far from reliable guide.
Beyond the practical, Seventh struggles with the sense of guilt and responsibility he feels – to his mother, to his people and to his unique cultural heritage. His mother always taught him he was a link in a chain, stretching back centuries. But he’s getting tired of chains.
Shalom Auslander's Mother for Dinner is an outrageously tasty comedy about identity and inheritance, the things we owe our families and the things we owe ourselves.
The new book by the author of Hope: A Tragedy – ‘the funniest novel of the decade’ Sunday Times
Auslander (Hope: A Tragedy) turns his taboo-shattering satiric gaze to cannibalism in this outrageous, salty take on contemporary culture. Seventh Seltzer is a New York City book editor weary of sorting through submissions for the "Not-So-Great Something-American Novel" and their increasingly niche subjects (e.g., "Gender-Neutral-Albino-Lebanese-Eritrean-American"). Seventh is particularly attuned to the "shackles" of identity, having been raised in the persecuted Cannibal-American ("Can-Am") community, which ritualistically consumed its dead. He is the seventh of a dozen surviving children of a monstrous matriarch, Mudd, a bigoted force of nature determined to restore her diminished people to prominence. When she dies, however, many of her children have long since given up cannibalism. Yet, promised a hefty inheritance on the condition that the rite is performed, Seventh and his bickering siblings unite to tackle the grisly task. The bilious narrative trips along its grotesque way, treating readers to the picaresque history of Can-Am immigrants from an unspecified "Old Country." While Auslander harps a bit more than necessary on the alternately constricting and comforting "boxes" of identity, and Seventh's misanthropic epiphany about human nature is a tad facile, more effective is the riotous dissection of cultural formation and a community's hunger for meaning. Auslander soars in enough places to make this worth the price of admission.