A heartwarming memoir of a couple who takes in a homeless man and the life-altering effect the experience has on all three of them.
For years, “Fisher King Mike” wandered L.A., preaching to his people. On occasion he’d share an open mic night with Michael Konik, who offered a curious and sympathetic ear, particularly when the Fisher King lamented his separation from his wife (who he claimed was Selena Gomez). As the pair began to trust one another, confusion and distance gave way to something that astounded them both.
The Unexpected Guest gives love profound new dimensions with its story of family, friendship, and the meaning of home. Konik offered food and a pair of pants when his new friend came by, and wondered how much he owed the troubled Fisher King―a question all of America faces with the nation’s ongoing homelessness crisis. When Konik and his wife gave Fisher King Mike a place in their home, handy as he turned out to be with household projects, they witnessed a guest become a caretaker. Gone was the man who gave sermons about his supposed estate next door to Kanye West. Gone was the man drifting through life. What each never saw coming was their own transformation and the lessons they’d learn about what it means not only to be good people, but simply to be human.
Praise for The Unexpected Guest
“Heartwarming, compassionate, and well-crafted, The Unexpected Guest gives voice to those rarely heard, compels you to look closer when you want to look away, and reveals the joy of caring for others.” ―Pete Earley, New York Times–bestselling author of Crazy: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness, 2007 Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize
“What a pleasure to read a book that is quick in pace, absent of cynicism, and packed with conversations and stories we desperately need. The Unexpected Guest exceeded my already high expectations. Michael Konik does something that few journalists, let alone politicians even attempt to do. He humanizes the people who are without shelter. I won’t be soon forgetting “Fisher King Mike.”“―Dave Zirin, The Nation
“A deft meditation on the ordinary magic that happens when you open your heart and home, one small step at a time. Poignant, timely, compulsively readable. Konik’s story of family lingers long after the last page.” ―Jack McCallum, New York Times–bestselling author of Dream Team
“Honest and entertaining, this book forces readers to confront the systems of inequality in which we are all implicated.” ―Kirkus Reviews