Hunters found his body naked in the snow.
So begins this bold and breathtakingly ambitious book from Stephen Marche, the provocative Esquire columnist and regular contributor to The Atlantic, whose last work of fiction was described by The New York Times Book Review as “maybe the most exciting mash-up of literary genres since David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas.” In The Hunger of the Wolf, Marche delivers a modern morality tale about the rapactity of global capitalism that manages to ask the most important questions we face about what it means to live in the new Gilded Age.
The body in the snow is that of Ben Wylie, the heir to America’s second-wealthiest business dynasty, and it is found in a remote patch of northern Canada. Far away, in post-crash New York, Jamie Cabot, the son of the Wylie family’s housekeepers, must figure out how and why Ben died. He knows the answer lies in the tortured history of the Wylie family, who over three generations built up their massive holdings into several billion dollars’ worth of real estate, oil and information systems despite a terrible family secret they must keep from the world. The threads of the Wylie men’s destinies, both financial and supernatural, lead twistingly but inevitably to the naked body in the snow and a final, chilling revelation.
The Hunger of the Wolf is a novel about what it means to be a man in the world of money. It is a story of fathers and sons, about secrets that are kept within families, and about the cost of the tension between the public face and the private soul. Spanning from Depression-era Pittsburgh to the swinging London of the 1960s, from the desolate wilderness of northern Alberta to present-day China, it is a powerfully affecting work of fiction in which the story of a single family captures the way we live now. It is an epic, genre-busting tale of money, secrets, and morality.
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.