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The Portable Veblen

(2016)
A novel by

 
Awards
Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction Best Book (nominee)

"Surprising, audacious, imaginative and totally wonderful the whole book zips and zings."
Karen Joy Fowler


An exuberant, one-of-a-kind novel about love and family, war and nature, new money and old values by a brilliant New Yorker contributor. The Portable Veblen is a dazzlingly original novel that's as big-hearted as it is laugh-out-loud funny. Set in and around Palo Alto amid the culture clash of new money and old (antiestablishment) values, and with the specter of our current wars looming across its words, The Portable Veblen is an unforgettable look at the way we live now.

A young couple on the brink of marriage - the charming Veblen and her fiance, Paul, a brilliant neurologist - find their engagement in danger of collapse. Along the way they weather everything from each other's dysfunctional families to the attentions of a seductive pharmaceutical heiress to an intimate tete-a-tete with a very charismatic squirrel.

Veblen (named after the iconoclastic economist Thorstein Veblen, who coined the term conspicuous consumption) is one of the most refreshing heroines in recent fiction. Not quite liberated from the burdens of her hypochondriac, narcissistic mother and her institutionalized father, Veblen is an amateur translator and "freelance self"; in other words, she's adrift. Meanwhile, Paul - the product of good hippies who were bad parents - finds his ambition soaring. His medical research has led to the development of a device to help minimize battlefield brain trauma - an invention that gets him swept up in a high-stakes deal with the Department of Defense, a bizarro world that McKenzie satirizes with granular specificity. As Paul is swept up by the promise of fame and fortune, Veblen heroically keeps the peace between all the damaged parties involved in their upcoming wedding until she finds herself falling for someone - or something - else.

Throughout, Elizabeth McKenzie asks: Where do our families end and we begin? How do we stay true to our ideals? And what is that squirrel really thinking? Replete with sly appendices, The Portable Veblen is at once an honest inquiry into what we look for in love and an electrifying experience.

 
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Used availability for Elizabeth McKenzie's The Portable Veblen


See all available used copies of this book at Abebooks UK or Abebooks US
 

Hardback Editions

January 2016 : UK Hardback
thumbTitle: The Portable Veblen
Author(s): Elizabeth McKenzie
ISBN: 0-00-816038-4 / 978-0-00-816038-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: Fourth Estate
Availability: Amazon UK   

January 2016 : USA Hardback
thumbTitle: The Portable Veblen: A Novel
Author(s): Elizabeth Mckenzie
ISBN: 1-59420-685-6 / 978-1-59420-685-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Penguin Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

1948 : UK Paperback
thumbTitle: The Portable Veblen
Author(s): Elizabeth McKenzie
ISBN: 0-00-816039-2 / 978-0-00-816039-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: Fourth Estate
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   

November 2016 : USA Paperback
thumbTitle: The Portable Veblen: A Novel
Author(s): Elizabeth Mckenzie
ISBN: 1-101-98159-8 / 978-1-101-98159-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

January 2016 : UK Paperback
thumbTitle: The Portable Veblen
Author(s): Elizabeth McKenzie
ISBN: 0-00-816063-5 / 978-0-00-816063-0 (UK edition)
Publisher: Fourth Estate
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Audio Editions

January 2016 : USA Audio edition
thumbTitle: The Portable Veblen
Author(s): Elizabeth McKenzie
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited
Availability: Amazon   

January 2016 : UK Audio edition
thumbTitle: The Portable Veblen
Author(s): Elizabeth McKenzie
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited
Availability: Amazon UK   

January 2016 : USA Audio edition
thumbTitle: The Portable Veblen
Author(s): Elizabeth Mckenzie
Publisher: Recorded Books
Availability: Amazon   

Kindle Editions

January 2016 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
thumbTitle: The Portable Veblen: A Novel
Author(s): Elizabeth Mckenzie
Publisher: Penguin Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   

January 2016 : UK Kindle edition
thumbTitle: The Portable Veblen: Shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2016
Author(s): Elizabeth McKenzie
Publisher: Fourth Estate
Availability: Amazon UK   


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