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  • Published: 31 March 2020
  • ISBN: 9780857527004
  • Imprint: Doubleday
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $24.99
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Enter the Aardvark

‘Achingly funny’ GUARDIAN




Refreshing different, highly inventive, witty and moving, ENTER THE AARDVARK is an absolute original. A budding politician’s career is put in jeopardy when he receives a large stuffed aardvark in the post. Brilliant and funny, a biting satire about politics, love, and taxidermy for fans of Jennifer Egan, Jonathan Franzen and Joshua Ferris.

‘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
Only one thing stands between Alexander Paine Wilson and his destiny… and it has long ears, spoon-like claws and a tubular snout...
Republican congressman Alexander Paine Wilson is determined that nothing will stop him in his campaign for re-election. Not the fact that he is a bachelor, not the fact that his main adversary Nancy Beavers – married, with children – is rising in the polls. Nothing. That is, until one hot day in August, he receives a large parcel via FedEx. Inside is a gigantic taxidermied aardvark.

This aardvark has a surprising history – from the Victorian naturalist who discovered it to the taxidermist who deemed it his finest creation. But for Wilson, the entrance of the aardvark sets off a chain of events that threaten to ruin his entire career.

Constantly surprising, brilliantly comic and piquantly provocative, Enter the Aardvark is a tale for our times, a biting satire with a tender underbelly.

‘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 THEN WE CAME TO THE END
‘Mischievously zoological and darkly satirical – a brilliant novel' JOHN IRONMONGER, author of NOT FORGETTING THE WHALE

'I've been waiting a long time for a book like Jessica Anthony's Enter the Aardvark, a book that not only manages to bridge supposedly unbridgeable divides in politics, in time, in geography, in love and sex, but also manages to do so by way of a time-traveling taxidermied aardvark. If that sounds unlikely, well, yes, exactly, that's why I've been waiting for so long for it—this unlikely, hilarious, moving, ingenious book. Enter the Aardvark is an absolute original.' BROCK CLARKE, author of WHO ARE YOU, CALVIN BLEDSOE?

'A feverish, rollicking beast of a book. Totally assured, completely unpredictable, Jessica Anthony has created a true original.' SIMON WROE, author of CHOP CHOP and HERE COMES TROUBLE

'Enter the Aardvark is one wild ride: a condemnation, a haunting, a song of love, a madcap political thriller—and it is absolutely unputdownable.' LAURA VAN DEN BERG, author of THE THIRD HOTEL

'Jessica Anthony is a writer possessed of mind-bending talents.' HEIDI JULAVITS, author of THE FOLDED CLOCK

"Inventive and darkly funny...as Anthony connects characters from today with those from 19th-century England, she offers an original and unsettling lens through which to view male power as it has evolved over time."?TIME

“A wild ride and might just be the perfect antidote to the wild ride we’re in in real life.” – ELECTRIC LIT

"Weird, wonderful, and very much of the moment, Enter the Aardvark is a landmark political novel of the Trump era...With heart and humor, Anthony expertly skewers our current political climate."?ESQUIRE

"This book is batshit insane and I love it. What do a closeted gay Republican congressman who's obsessed with Ronald Reagan have in common with a taxidermist in 19th-century England? Answer: an aardvark. And also much more, but I'll let you discover the rest for yourself."? LIT-HUB

"A blisteringly innovative and outrageous novel...If you're searching for a sharp, looking-glass view into the far end of contemporary politics, look no further. Jessica Anthony's novel has the pacing of a thriller with satirical verve of Nathanael West."?NY OBSERVER

“A wholly original, entertaining, history-infused, and politically engaged novel.” BOOKLIST

“Anthony stitches together stories from repressive Victorian England and venal contemporary American politics in this marvelous, tragic farce. . . . This idiosyncratic satire is full of wonders and warnings.” PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

“Weirdly compelling and compellingly weird.” — KIRKUS

  • Pub date: 31 March 2020
  • ISBN: 9780857527004
  • Imprint: Doubleday
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $24.99

About the Author

Jessica Anthony

Jessica Anthony is the author of The Convalescent (McSweeney’s/Grove), a Barnes and Noble “Discover Great New Writers” selection, and Chopsticks (Razorbill), a multimedia novel created in collaboration with designer Rodrigo Corral. Chopsticks, was an Amazon Book of the Month and won App of the Year. Anthony’ short stories can be found in Best New American Voices, Best American Nonrequired Reading, McSweeney’s, The Idaho Review and elsewhere. She is the inaugural winner of McSweeney’s “Amanda Davis Highwire Fiction Award,” and has recently received fellowships from the Creative Capital Foundation for Innovative Literature, 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. In 2017, while writing Enter the Aardvark, her next novel, Anthony was working as “Bridge Guard,” guarding the Maria Valeria Bridge between Štúrovo, Slovakia and Esztergom, Hungary. Normally, she lives in Maine and teaches at Bates College.


Praise for Enter the Aardvark

“‘Weird, wonderful, and very much of the moment, Enter the Aardvark is a landmark political novel of the Trump era.’”

ESQUIRE.COM Best Books of 2020

“If you are anything like me, you will end up loving the actual aardvark...and relish the world of taxidermy that Anthony brings to life. Enter the Aardvark sizzles with uproarious fun, from its snout to the sting in its tale.”

INDEPENDENT

“Inventive and darkly funny...as Anthony connects characters from today with those from 19th-century England, she offers an original and unsettling lens through which to view male power as it has evolved over time.”

TIME

“Spry, slim, clever...the inventiveness is impressive and the story has heart.”

THE SUNDAY TIMES

“Old, dead creature brings down flash, vain senator... Out in front as the most fizzing and amusing novel of the year.”

STRONG WORDS magazine

“[An] ingenious political satire…The perfect tonic for testing times…deliciously astute, fresh and terminally funny.”

GUARDIAN

“Like A.S. Byatt like with a demented sense of humor… [Jessica Anthony] holds up a funhouse mirror to our own political media in the age of spin…with sentences reminiscent of Joyce’s Dubliners and the later works of T. S. Eliot.”

LA REVIEW OF BOOKS

“‘Part 21st-century political satire, part unexpectedly affecting 19th-century love story…It’s every bit as strange as it sounds, and yet somehow it works: there’s a pleasing symmetry to the parallel plots, and Anthony’s writing is evocative enough to snare the imagination.'”

DAILY MAIL

“What begins as a topical takedown of the American political system deepens into a hugely enjoyable romp through history...Madcap and satirical without ever being flippant, Anthony’s novel is totally unrealistic yet completely truthful.”

OBSERVER

“A wild ride and might just be the perfect antidote to the wild ride we’re in in real life].”

ELECTRIC LIT

“Sharp, inventive and very funny, it’s an entertainingly bizarre political satire.”

TATLER

“Fresh, astute and mouthwateringly sharp, this is a rare thing; a political satire that tugs on the heartstrings in unconventional ways.”

IRISH TIMES

“The structure doesn’t so much intrigue as ensnare you, weaving its cat’s cradle of a plot as you lie there, strapped to a table... “Enter the Aardvark” is brutally suited to our moment of absurd political theater.”

LA TIMES

“The scope of Anthony’s imagination can sometimes beggar belief. What a mind she has. As the narrative twists between the past and the present, it seems like anything could happen at any time….a hilariously poisonous evisceration of the cowardly, disingenuous politicians running rampant through Trump’s Washington.”

CULTUREFLY

“A blisteringly innovative and outrageous novel...If you're searching for a sharp, looking-glass view into the far end of contemporary politics, look no further. Jessica Anthony's novel has the pacing of a thriller with satirical verve of Nathanael West.”

NY OBSERVER

“‘Jessica Anthony’s Enter the Aardvark was exactly the smart, funny and poignant pick-me-up that I needed…Anthony entwines her two narrative threads with seamless precision...Riotously entertaining’”

i-news

“‘A joyfully weird, compulsive political satire'”

MAIL ON SUNDAY

“'Enter the Aardvark is one wild ride: a condemnation, a haunting, a song of love, a madcap political thriller—and it is absolutely unputdownable.' LAURA VAN DEN BERG, author of THE THIRD HOTEL”

LAURA VAN DER BERG, author of THR THIRD HOTEL

“'Hilarious, moving, ingenious... Enter the Aardvark is an absolute original.'”

BROCK CLARKE, author of WHO ARE YOU, CALVIN BLEDSOE?

“‘Sometimes, a paragraph near the start of a novel is so perfect and funny that you read it over and over, laugh every time, and know you’re in for a treat…I'm loving it. Completely insane but utterly hilarious’”

JOHN BOYNE

“‘A curious, surprising and moving story about two men who— to put it one way — become involved with an aardvark and thereby condemn themselves to death.’”

THE CRITIC


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