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The Portable Veblen


The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth Mckenzie

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The Portable Veblen

 Elizabeth McKenzie

ISBN 9780008160630

A riotously funny and deeply insightful adventure through capitalism, the medical industry, family, love, war and wedding-planning – from an electrically entertaining new voice.

Meet Veblen: a passionate defender of the anti-consumerist views of her name-sake, the iconoclastic economist Thorstein Veblen. She’s an experienced cheerer-upper (mainly of her narcissistic, hypochondriac, controlling mother), an amateur translator of Norwegian, and a firm believer in the distinct possibility that the plucky grey squirrel following her around can understand more than it lets on.

Meet her fiancé, Paul: the son of good hippies who were bad parents, a no-nonsense, high-flying neuroscientist with no time for squirrels. His recent work on a device to minimize battlefield trauma has led him dangerously close to the seductive Cloris Hutmacher, heiress to a pharmaceuticals empire, who is promising him fame and fortune through a shady-sounding deal with the Department of Defence.

What could possibly go wrong?


The Author

Elizabeth McKenzieElizabeth McKenzies work has appeared in the New YorkerThe Atlantic Monthly, Best American Non-required Reading, and the Pushcart Prize anthology. She lives in Santa Cruz, California.




Reviews, News & Interviews:

Man oh man, do I love this book! Audacious, imaginative, and totally wonderful: The whole books zips and zings. Karen Joy Fowler, author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

Wildly brilliant. Razor-sharp, intimate, hilarious and profound. Every page is a delight. Emma Jane Unsworth, author of Animals

The Portable Veblen is the squirreliest novel I ever read. I enjoyed it completely. Ursula K. Le Guin, author of The Dispossessed and The Left Hand of Darkness

A deeply observed universe where heroines are named for economists and the high stakes of capitalism are set to collide with the chatter of small wild animals. Both humorous and wrenching. Samantha Hunt, author of The Invention of Everything Else and Mr. Splitfoot