FRESH AIR Bump for
Cathleen Schine

9780374280130_ee819Check your holds for They May Not Mean To, But They Do by Cathleen Schine (Macmillan/FSG; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample). It is rising on Amazon, up to #346 from #4,077, and demand is spiking in several libraries.

The rise coincides with a feature on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday. In a long conversation host Terry Gross asks Schine about her newest book and how it reflects the novelist’s own life.

Their conversation centers upon the difficulties of middle-age kids dealing with their aging and ill parents and the feelings of guilt that arise from living far away from them.

The publicity for the book paints it as far more comedic than the interview suggests, a take many reviews reinforce. NPR’s book critic Maureen Corrigan asked, “who needs a novel about colostomy bags and grief? … you do if you’re a reader who relishes acute psychological perceptions and lots of laughs to leaven the existential grimness.”

Author Penelope Lively, reviewing for the NYT BR, says the novel “combines black comedy with shrewd observation of family dynamics,” continuing that “Despite its subject matter [it] is a very funny novel.”

Entertainment Weekly gave it a strong B+, writing that the “deliciously quirky multigenerational novel … manages to be funny and heartbreaking at the same time; Schine has a gift for transforming the pathos and comedy of everyday life into luminous fiction.”

Comments are closed.