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Thrown together by circumstance, a group of fathersa sound engineer, a sculptor, a film producer, a chef, a memoirist, a gangstermeets each morning at a local Tribeca coffee shop after walking their children to their exclusive school.
The sound engineer looks uncomfortably like the guy on the sex offender posters strewn around the neighborhood; the memoirist is on the verge of being outed for fabricating his experiences; and the narcissistic chef puts his quest for the perfect quail-egg frittata before his children's well-being. Over the course of a single school year, we are privy to their secrets, passions, and hopes, and learn of their dreams deferred as they confront harsh realities about ambition, wealth, and sex. And we meet their wives and children, who together with these men are discovering the hard truths and welcome surprises that accompany family, marriage, and real estate at midlife.
Fascinatingly layered and multidimensional, these linked stories, arranged like puzzle pieces, create a powerful portrait of unlikely friends and their neighborhood in transition. Striking chords that range from haunting and heartbreaking to darkly funny and deeply poignant, Triburbia marks the start of a brilliant literary career.
About the Author
Karl Taro Greenfeld is the author of seven previous books, including the novel Triburbia and the acclaimed memoir Boy Alone. His award-winning writing has appeared in Harper's Magazine, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, Best American Short Stories 2009 and 2013, and The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2012. Born in Kobe, Japan, he has lived in Paris, Hong Kong, and Tokyo, and currently lives in Pacific Palisades, California, with his wife, Silka, and their daughters, Esmee and Lola.
“Greenfeld’s sensitivity to nuances of the zeitgeist and his keen observational skills make his characters (some of whom will seem eerily familiar to longtime residents of downtown Manhattan) instantly recognizable as creatures of their time and place without quite denying them their humanity.”
-Jay McInerney, New York Times Book Review
“Greenfeld reveals his characters’ humanity with sly humor and an unerring eye.”
“Greenfeld taps into something universal with Triburbia. . . . An accomplished journalist, Greenfeld brings a reporter’s curiosity and an artist’s empathy to his crackling, observant first novel.”
-Entertainment Weekly (A-)
“Greenfeld is an acute social observer, but Triburbia is more than a chronicle of fading hipness; it’s also a loving examination of marital and family trials and ties.”
“The pleasures of Karl Taro Greenfeld’s writing are easy to catalog -- a crystalline, terrifically readable prose style; a vast repository of trenchant observations; and a caustic sense of humor that recalls Jonathan Franzen yet with a refreshing economy of speech.”
-San Francisco Chronicle
“Dubliners for the middle-aged downtown set. . . . Mr. Greenfeld’s prose is as lean and declarative as a newspaper article, though there are moments of creepy comic brilliance.”
“Triburbia is darkly humorous, occasionally lascivious, unsparing in its condemnations of the main characters and intrepid in its honest descriptions of the human conscience… But it’s not a sad book. It’s a candid one. And a good one. It is reassuring, cathartic even.”
“Triburbia is a snapshot of a Manhattan subculture at a certain moment in time. . . . An acclaimed memoirist and journalist turns to fiction to capture the spirit of his neighborhood in the full throes of gentrification.”
“Compelling. . . . Greenfeld brilliantly illuminates the pecking order and power plays behind the smug façade of this fashionable urban fortress . . . A surprising, involving, and strikingly perceptive tale of social and personal metamorphoses.”
-Booklist (starred review)
“An absorbing first novel. . . . Greenfeld wields his critiques, humor, and observations to create a compelling little universe.”
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Pitch-perfect, dry, and smart, this is a vivid portrait of New York, our lives, our loves, and our hearts.”
-Susan Orlean, author of Rin Tin Tin and The Orchid Thief
“Triburbia is a chorus of voices so sharp, vivid, and finely tuned that New York sounds as if it’s speaking directly to us. But more than a portrait of a neighborhood, it’s also an absorbing exposé of the extravagant preoccupations and dark desires of the new millennium.”
-Eleanor Henderson, author of Ten Thousand Saints
“Voyeurism this seductive and satisfying is usually attended with a trespassing charge. Thanks are owed to Karl Taro Greenfeld for removing the nasty middleman of legal repercussion.”
-Amelia Gray, author of Threats
“I loved Triburbia, loved dropping in on these wonderful characters with their outsized appetites and ambitions . . . Most of all, though, I loved Karl Taro Greenfeld’s deft satirical touch, the searing empathy with which he offers up his privileged, damaged people to the world.”
-Jess Walter, author of Beautiful Ruins and The Financial Lives of the Poets
“Triburbia, should share space on the shelf next to Tom Perrotta’s Little Children and Jeffery Eugenides’s The Virgin Suicides.”
-Benjamin Percy, author of The Wilding and Refresh, Refresh
“The excellent Triburbia brings to mind such modern masters as Cheever, Updike, and Salter, but Greenfeld delivers his own wonderfully sharp-eyed take on recent American life. . . . This is fiction of the first rank--intense, suspenseful, and relevant in the most urgent way.”
-Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk and Brief Encounters with Che Guevara,
“Set on the streets of Manhattan’s Tribeca as it transforms from an artist’s haven to a place for yuppies and their children, Triburbia showcases Karl Taro Greenfeld’s exceptional talent as both a storyteller and satirist.”
-Hannah Tinti, author of The Good Thief