When Viv flies to Buenos Aires for a secret liaison with Clive, there is no ambiguity as to their intentionsadultery. But this is where conventionality terminates in Stephen Marche’s new novel, Love and the Mess We’re In, a work whose lyric richness and inventiveness skillfully embody the tumbles and turns of love in a postmodern age. Marche collaborates with award-winning typographer Andrew Steeves to create richly polyschematic book pages whose influences range from the interwoven texts, geometric shaping and pattern-making of Hebraic calligraphy, illuminated manuscripts and incunabular typography to the ordered tangle of a New York City subway map.
Viv’s husband, Tim, is Clive’s best friend. A breakdown has landed Tim in a mental institution, seemingly beyond recovery. His collapse brings Viv and Clive together in their grief, at a loss to navigate the loneliness, guilt, lust and, perhaps, love which they discover in their unsettling and morally ambiguous new context.
Love and the Mess We’re In is an evocative, lithe story of love and redemption infused with Marche’s wit, insight and telescopic emotional range.
About the author
Stephen Marche is a novelist and culture columnist. Marche received his Ph.D in Early Modern Drama in 2005 from the University of Toronto. He went on to teach Renaissance Drama at City College in New York. He is the author of two novels — Shining At The Bottom Of The Sea (2007) and Raymond and Hannah (2005), which was shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award in 2006. His recent non-fiction project, How Shakespeare Changed Everything (2011), uncovers the sometimes hidden influence of Shakespeare in modern culture. He currently writes “A Thousand Words About Our Culture,” a monthly column for Esquire magazine, which was a finalist for the 2011 American Society of Magazine Editors National Magazine Award for commentary. Marche also writes a weekly column for the National Post and has written about literature and politics for Salon.com, The New Republic, The Toronto Star, The Globe & Mail, Maclean’s, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The Walrus. He lives in Toronto with his wife and two children.
“So dazzling, so unsentimental...
A work that is both beautiful and confusing.
In other words, an honest love story.”
The New York Times
“Stephen Marche is capable of writing
...any darn thing he wants.”
The Globe & Mail
“This country’s master creator
of parallel universes.”
The National Post