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The Dog of the North by Elizabeth McKenzie
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The Dog of the North

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The Dog of the North by Elizabeth McKenzie
Hardcover $28.00
Mar 14, 2023 | ISBN 9780593300695

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  • Mar 14, 2023 | ISBN 9780593300695

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“What a wonderfully weird yet deeply familiar world Elizabeth McKenzie has sketched in The Dog of the North! These pages are full of the absurdly funny alongside the absurdly tragic—hairpieces, talking fish, disappeared parents, a scalpel-happy grandmother, gastrointestinal disasters—the strangeness is not mere quirk. McKenzie’s brilliance lies in her deadpan gaze and cool wit, which shows us how inherently odd reality itself is. Families are odd. Homes are odd. California is odd. Dogs and hair and steak and trout are odd. Look up from this book and feel understood in your own inexplicable oddity. A joy, a pleasure, and an addictive read with an ultimately hopeful core that recalls Haruki Murakami, Sayaka Murata, Richard Brautigan, and Miranda July.” —Sanjena Sathian, author of Gold Diggers

“Elizabeth McKenzie has a unique gift for turning the messiness of families and their unfinished business into poignant comedy. You will fall in love with this extended clan of misfits, even after they break your heart.” —Charlie Jane Anders, author of Victories Greater than Death

“Darkly absurd and slyly insightful, Elizabeth McKenzie’s The Dog of the North charms and delights even as it wrestles with childhood trauma, bodily indignity, and sudden death. This is a whirlwind picaresque, a genuinely comic novel, and—most surprising and most satisfying—a potent, poignant investigation into grief and the myriad ways we flailingly, failingly attempt to avoid the pains of loss.” —Miranda Popkey, author of Topics of Conversation

“Sometimes the modern world seems like an inescapable hellscape. Then I remember that Elizabeth McKenzie is writing novels, and I feel better again. The Dog of the North is exactly as much fun as The Big Lebowski or one of Charles Portis’s comic jaunts, filled with dialogue so fun you’ll want to say it aloud and a blissful parade American eccentrics. Trust me—there’s a guy who tries to invent something called Steak in a Trout™.” —Ed Park, author of Personal Days

“The Dog of The North
filled me with joy, a glorious feeling in these times. I laughed out loud on every page and underlined most of the book—passages to return to.  The novel in several different dimensions is about caretaking, a role that most people stumble into, don’t plan on, and suddenly, wham, there you are doing this task for which you may or may not be prepared.  Each person in the book in her/his own way is taking care at some level, even if he/she is wrong headed (or insane) in the approach.  Thank you, thank you, Elizabeth McKenzie!”—Jane Hamilton, author of The Excellent Lombards
“Compassionate, funny, quirky, and beautifully written, Elizabeth McKenzie’s The Dog of the North is a novel of our moment. McKenzie spins an exquisitely-wrought tale about the contemporary precariat, health woes, fraying relationships, and the durability of friendship, which she sets within the early midlife walkabout. A triumph!”—Yxta Maya Murray, author of Art Is Everything

“Even funnier, even more romantic than McKenzie’s wonderful last, The Portable Veblen, this is a screwball comedy worthy of a Preston Sturgis screenplay.  You will be surprised, delighted, and grateful to be aboard The Dog of the North with the admirable Penny Rush as she faces every challenge her wild and crazy family can throw at her. A book that lifts the spirits.” —Karen Joy Fowler, author of Booth

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