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The Catastrophist

By Lawrence Douglas
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Book Details
  • Author: Lawrence Douglas
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Published: 2006-05-16
  • Edition: 1
In the tradition of Michael Frayn and David Lodge, an intellectual comedy satirizing love, marriage, and academic life. Meet Daniel Wellington. Art historian, academic star, devoted husband, and futurephobe. Although Daniel has known nothing but success, he's convinced the future promises nothing but disaster. When his wife presents him with a tiny, size XXS Yale sweatshirt, Daniel is seized by the impulse to bolt; the specter of imminent fatherhood sends him into a full-blown existential crisis. Soon this well-intentioned, if neurotic, young professor finds himself plotting bigamy, lying about his past, imagining his pregnant wife in the arms of an androgynous graduate student, and explaining to the dean why he e-mailed an obscene suggestion to the naked lead in a student production of Miss Julie, Naturally, Daniel's hilariously deranged behavior brings about the very catastrophes he fears most. From an idyllic New England campus to the rarefied art worlds of Berlin and London, The Catastrophist charts the rise and fall and partial rebound of an ambivalent but endearing everyman. Razor sharp and riotously funny, this debut novel heralds the appearance of a major new comedic voice in American fiction.