CANCELLED - Jessica Anthony - ENTER THE AARDVARK

Start: 
Thursday, April 2, 2020 - 6:30pm
Location: 
2421 Bissonnet Street
Houston, TX 77006

“It’s a long time since I have enjoyed a novel so much.  Fresh, witty and smart, it also has a heart.  What more could you want?  And who would have thought that you could become emotionally attached to a stuffed aardvark?” —Kate Atkinson, author of Big Sky and Life After Life

“If you've been wondering, as I have, where the spirit of Nathanael West might be in these berserk and awful times, enter Jessica Anthony. With her highly inventive, ever attentive, and morally serious (as all great comedy must be) Enter the Aardvark, she estranges all over again our deplorable political moment, and thereby helps make it bearable.” —Joshua Ferris, author of The Dinner Party and Then We Came to the End

“Enter the Aardvark is one wild ride: a condemnation, a haunting, a song of love, a madcap political thriller—and it is absolutely unputdownable. I have long been a massive fan of Jessica Anthony’s writing and this novel cements her as one of our most thrilling and singular innovators on the page. Welcome, readers, to her world.” —Laura van den Berg, author of The Third Hotel


A young congressman discovers a mysterious stuffed aardvark on his doorstep and sets out on a rip-roaring journey to find out what it means in this "weird, wonderful, and very much of the moment" (Esquire) novel about the secrets we keep from ourselves and their history-shaping consequences.

It's early one morning on a hot day in August, and millennial congressman Alexander Paine Wilson (R), planning his first reelection campaign and in deep denial about his sexuality, receives a mysterious, over-sized FedEx delivery on his front stoop. Inside is a gigantic taxidermied aardvark.

This outrageous, edge-of-your-seat novel hurtles between contemporary Washington, D.C., where Wilson tries to get rid of the unsightly beast before it destroys his career, and Victorian England--where we meet Titus Downing, the taxidermist who stuffed the aardvark, and Richard Ostlet, the naturalist who hunted her. Our present world, we begin to see, has been shaped in profound and disturbing ways by the secret that binds these men.

At once a ghost story, a love story, and a stunningly prescient political satire, Enter the Aardvark confronts the consequences of repressed male love meeting oppressive male power, and is a searing condemnation of our current American blindness. It is also that rarest of creatures: a work of art so utterly original and masterfully built that it seems to have spring fully formed from its visionary maker's head.


Jessica Anthony is the author of The Convalescent (McSweeney’s/Grove) and Chopsticks (Penguin), a multimedia novel created in collaboration with designer Rodrigo Corral. Her short stories can be found in Best New American Voices, Best American Nonrequired Reading, McSweeney’s, The Idaho Review and elsewhere. She has recently received fellowships from the Creative Capital Foundation, the Bridgeguard Foundation in Štúrovo, Slovakia, the Bogliasco Foundation in Bogliasco, Italy, and the Maine Arts Commission. Anthony has been a butcher in Alaska, an unlicensed masseuse in Poland, a secretary in San Francisco. Currently, she lives in Portland, Maine

Enter the Aardvark Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780316536158
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown and Company - March 24th, 2020