Odd-job queen Starshine Hart is about to go on somebody else’s perfect date. At 29, the usually carefree Starshine has realized that it is easier to start sleeping with a man than to stop. Her lovers include one of the last underground members of the Weathermen and the dilettante heir to a lawn chair magnate. Both men have staked their romantic future on her. Her only respite is her impending dinner with the nonthreatening but unattractive tour guide Larry Bloom. But Larry, too, has a stake in her future. He has written a book about their impending dinner in which he fantasizes about Starshine’s life on the day he wins her heart. Juxtaposing moments from Larry’s guided tour of New York City on the June day of his “dream date” with excerpts from the novel in which he imagines Starshine’s concurrent escapades, this inventive structure weaves a highly imaginative love story across all five boroughs. Provocative, funny, and keenly observed, an imagined pilgrimage through the underbelly of Gotham becomes a bold new voice in contemporary American fiction.
About the Author
Jacob M. Appel is an attorney and a practicing psychiatrist. His short fiction has appeared in more than 200 journals and magazines, including the "Boston Review," "Crab Orchard Review," and "Whistling Shade Magazine." He has won the Dundee International Book Prize, the Kurt Vonnegut Prize, the Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction, the Walker Percy Prize, and others. He is the author of "The Man Who Wouldn't Stand Up." He lives in New York City.
“Astounding in its vividness, its originality, its inventiveness and heart. This outstanding novel will draw worthy comparisons to Kurt Vonnegut and George Saunders, but more than anything I’m struck by the sheer force of Appel’s vision and voice. The book marks the arrival of a trenchant and necessary voice in American letters. How lucky we are!” —Bret Anthony Johnston, author, Corpus Christi: Stories
“A delightful book that is ultimately about the act of writing and the power of love.” —Nicole Cooley, author, Judy Garland, Ginger Love
“A burghers’ banquet of the best of New York and an unapologetic romantic’s hopes for the dreams of the last and most forgotten among us. Appel’s novel is outstanding—a singular and extremely funny read for those of us who find our pleasures in contemplating loneliness and despair.” —Michael Dahlie, author, A Gentleman’s Guide to Graceful Living
“Appel’s clever, vigorously written, intently observed, and richly emotional tale, is spiked with canny observations about human nature. Do we inherit or create luck? Is beauty a burden or a gift? Can love transcend fantasy? Seductive and thought-provoking.” —Booklist
“Even the secondary characters are as vivid as any found in fiction. Though The Biology of Luck is only his second novel, Appel’s status as a prolific writer is well-cemented.” —Green Mountains Review