Three on a Theme: There’s a Rabbit on Your Book

Two new novels and one of last year’s fiction gems have an obvious link with a distinct long-eared creature on the cover. What these books really have in common, however, is within their pages of bitingly funny fiction.

Rabbits for Food by Binnie Kirshenbaum (May 2019)
It’s been ten years since we’ve been treated to a novel by the hilarious Kirshenbaum, and this new one is worthy of a celebration. In Rabbits for Food, Bunny, a novelist, heads into a clinical depression as she waits for a therapy dog that never arrives. How could this possibly be funny? Well, here’s what Kirkus Review has to say: “Kirshenbaum is a remarkable writer of fiercely observed fiction and a bleak, stark wit; her latest novel is as moving as it is funny, and that—truly—is saying something.”

Bunny by Mona Awad (June 2019)
The Vegetarian (by Han Kang) meets Heathers is the logline for this new book, and that’s a mashup that has me running to place a hold. A graduate student in the fictional Warren University’s MFA program is ensnared in a clique of rich girls — also MFA students — who ridiculously call one another “Bunny.” A starred review in Kirkus said, “A viciously funny bloodbath . . . Awad gleefully pumps up the novel’s nightmarish quality until the boundary between perception and reality has all but dissolved completely . . . Wickedly sharp . . .”  Awad is the author of 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girlwhich was a finalist for the Giller Prize (Canada) and an honorable mention from the Arab American Book Awards.

Some Trick by Helen deWitt (2018)
From the author of The Last Samurai (a 2000 novel that is not about what you think it’s about) comes these 13 stories about misfits and geniuses. From the publisher: “For sheer unpredictable brilliance, Gogol may come to mind, but no author alive today takes a reader as far as Helen DeWitt into the funniest, most yonder dimensions of possibility. Her jumping-off points might be statistics, romance, the art world’s piranha tank, games of chance and games of skill, the travails of publishing, or success.” And that rabbit on deWitt’s cover? It’s from the painting “The Satisfied Hare” by Kevin Sloan.

From this point on, I think I’ll always pick up a novel that has a rabbit (or even a hare) on the cover in hopes that it signals fresh, uncanny, and wry writing inside.

~ posted by Linda J. 

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