Mac's Backs Book Club discusses Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offil.
Dept. of Speculation is a portrait of a marriage. It is also a beguiling rumination on the mysteries of intimacy, trust, faith, knowledge, and the condition of universal shipwreck that unites us all. Jenny Offill's heroine, referred to in these pages as simply "the wife," once exchanged love letters with her husband, postmarked Dept. of Speculation, their code name for all the uncertainty that inheres in life and in the strangely fluid confines of a long relationship. As they confront an array of common catastrophes--a colicky baby, bedbugs, a faltering marriage, stalled ambitions--the wife analyzes her predicament, invoking everything from Keats and Kafka to the thought experiments of the Stoics to the lessons of doomed Russian cosmonauts. She muses on the consuming, capacious experience of maternal love, and the near total destruction of the self that ensues from it, as she confronts the friction between domestic life and the seductions and demands of art. With cool precision, in language that shimmers with rage and wit and fierce longing, Jenny Offill has crafted an exquisitely suspenseful love story that has the velocity of a train hurtling through the night at top speed. Exceptionally lean and compact, Dept. of Speculation can be read in a single sitting, but there are enough bracing emotional insights in these pages to fill a much longer novel.
"Powerful. . . . Exquisite. . . . A novel that's wonderfully hard to encapsulate, because it faces in many directions at the same time, and glitters with different emotional colors." -- The New Yorker
"A startling feat of storytelling . . . Each line a dazzling, perfectly chiseled arrowhead aimed at your heart." -- Vanity Fair
Jenny Offill is the author of the novel Last Things, which was chosen as a Notable Book of the Year by The New York Times and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times First Book Award. She teaches in the writing programs at Queens University, Brooklyn College, and Columbia University.
The book will be available at Mac's Backs or through our website at the 20% book club discount.
In accordance with social distancing guidelines, this meeting will take place via Zoom. Click here to register for the link - https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIvdOCurjwjHNNG8_jaxQhQMzbD2M1...