Here James Schuyler matches simplicity with subtlety to the same astonishing effect as in his much-admired poetry. What's for Dinner? revolves around...more
Here James Schuyler matches simplicity with subtlety to the same astonishing effect as in his much-admired poetry. What's for Dinner? revolves around three households in suburban Long Island. The Delehanteys are a traditional Catholic family, whose twin teenage boys are getting out of hand, no matter that their father is hardly one to spare the rod. Childless Norris and Lottie have been happily married for years, even if Lottie has been slowly drinking herself to death. Mag, a recent widow, is as crude as she is lonely and keen for companionship. After Lottie enters an institution to dry out, the book turns into what might be best characterized as an oddball comedy of group therapy manners. Her interactions with her fellow patients, simultaneously tetchy and tender, reflect the mixture of confusion, deception, desire, and hope in the lives of friends and family outside. Charming and dark, off-kilter but pedestrian, matter-of-fact yet mercurial, What’s for Dinner? captures the fragility and toughness of ordinary life. Schuyler knows how thin the ice is that people skate on from day to day, and how deep the abyss that lies beneath. less
Hilarious, deadpan, fresh. When alcoholism was still a character flaw rather than a career path, people still had to contend with trying to stop. And it was just a part of life. I enjoyed the hell out of this book.