Books

Fleishman Is in Trouble

A novel by Taffy Brodesser-Akner.

Taffy Brodesser-Akner

Toby Fleishman thought he knew what to expect when he and his wife of almost 15 years separated: weekends and every other holiday with the kids, some residual bitterness, the occasional moment of tension in their co-parenting negotiations. He could not have predicted that one day, in the middle of his summer of sexual emancipation, Rachel would just drop their two children off at his place and simply not return. He had been working so hard to find equilibrium in his single life. The winds of his optimism, long dormant, had finally begun to pick up. Now this.

As Toby tries to figure out where Rachel went, all while juggling his patients at the hospital, his never-ending parental duties, and his new app-assisted sexual popularity, his tidy narrative of the spurned husband with the too-ambitious wife is his sole consolation. But if Toby ever wants to truly understand what happened to Rachel and what happened to his marriage, he is going to have to consider that he might not have seen things all that clearly in the first place. (From Random House)

From the book

Toby Fleishman awoke one morning inside the city he'd lived in all his adult life and which was suddenly somehow now crawling with women who wanted him. Not just any women, but women who were self-actualized and independent and knew what they wanted. Women who weren't needy or insecure or self-doubting, like the long-ago prospects of his long-gone youth — meaning the women he had thought of as prospects but who had never given him even a first glance. No, these were women who were motivated and available and interesting and interested and exciting and excited. These were women who would not so much wait for you to call them one or two or three socially acceptable days after you met them as much as you send pictures of their genitals the day before. Women who were open-minded and up for anything and vocal about their desires and needs and who used phrases like "put my cards on the table" and "no strings attached" and "I need to be done in ten because I have to pick up Bella from ballet." Women who would fuck you like they owed you money, was how our friend Seth put it.


From Fleishman Is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner ©2019. Published by Random House.


Interviews with Taffy Brodesser-Akner

In Brodesser-Akner's new novel, Fleishman Is in Trouble, middle-aged Toby Fleishman ends his 14-year marriage and expects to enter a new era of freedom. Then his ex-wife drops their kids off and disappears, and he's forced to reconsider the story he told about their marriage. She speaks with guest host Peter Armstrong about anger, ambition and the collision between two conflicting narratives. 21:30

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