Wednesday, October 7, 2009

From the Favorites: Dan Elish, Nine Wives

While I’m away from blogging, I’m sharing some of my favorite books from my bookshelf of “signed books.”

Okay, I must admit to some bias here, since Dan Elish is one of my friends. But his novel Nine Wives is hilarious! Poor 32-year-old Henry wants to be married, and one wouldn’t think that would be such a problem for a man in New York City…but it is.

“Henry Mann forced himself up the final steps to his fifth-floor walk-up with the heavy gait of a man who has had two marriage proposals rejected in the same evening. After fumbling with his keys, he finally managed to gain access to his small apartment, where he tossed his tie onto the beat-up console piano and flopped backward, spread eagle, onto the couch. The effects of the four whiskey sours were finally wearing off. Also, the three glasses of champagne and the two—or was it three?—tequila shots. But this was one night when Henry would have been perfectly happy to remain permanently plowed.

“Had he really done it? Proposed to two women? At the same lousy wedding? Sadly, the answer appeared to be yes. That the mother of the bride was actually pretty damned good-looking didn’t soften the blow, or that Charlotte, the cousin of the groom, had seemed flattered. Facts were facts: It was inappropriate to pledge one’s eternal love to a total stranger, especially while attempting to keep the beat to an anemic rendition of “Brown Sugar.” Further, it was wrong to grab the bride’s mom by the waist directly after she had delivered an emotional thymed toast. It was even worse to pay homage with one’s own short poem:

In your arms, the bride you carried.
You’re old! So what? Let’s get married!”

Here’s a funny piece Dan wrote for this blog about the difference between writing for children and grown-ups.


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.