Nuclear Family: A Tragicomic Novel in Letters
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Date: July 2017
Duration: 5 hours 27 minutes
From filmmaker and New Yorker contributor Susanna Fogel comes a comedic novel about a fractured family of New England Jews and their discontents. Told entirely in letters to a heroine we never meet, we get to know the Fellers through their check-ins with Julie over the course of three decades: their thank-you notes, letters of condolence, family gossip, and good old-fashioned familial passive-aggression.Together, their missives-some sardonic, others absurd, others heartbreaking-weave a tapestry of a very modern family trying (and often failing) to show one another they care.The titular "nuclear family" includes, among many others, a narcissistic former-child-prodigy father who has taken up haiku writing in his old age and his new wife, a traditional Chinese woman whose attempts to help her stepdaughter find a man include FedExing her silk gowns from Filene's Basement; their six-year-old son, Stuart, whose favorite condiment is truffle oil and who wears suits to bed; and Julie's mother, a psychologist who never remarried but may be in love with her arrogant Rabbi and overshares about everything, including the threesome she had with Dutch grad students in 1972.