An intelligent and madly entertaining debut novel reminiscent of The Crying of Lot 49, White Noise, and City of Glass that is at once a missing-person mystery, an exorcism of modern culture, and a wholly singular vision of contemporary womanhood from a terrifying and often funny voice of a new generation.
A woman known only by the letter A lives in an unnamed American city with her roommate, B, and boyfriend, C, who wants her to join him on a reality show called That’s My Partner! A eats (or doesn’t) the right things, watches endless amounts of television, often just for the commercials—particularly the recurring cartoon escapades of Kandy Kat, the mascot for an entirely chemical dessert—and models herself on a standard of beauty that only exists in such advertising. She fixates on the fifteen minutes of fame a news-celebrity named Michael has earned after buying up his local Wally Supermarket’s entire, and increasingly ample, supply of veal.
Meanwhile B is attempting to make herself a twin of A, who hungers for something to give meaning to her life, something aside from C’s pornography addiction, and becomes indoctrinated by a new religion spread throughout a web of corporate franchises, which moves her closer to the decoys that populate her television world, but no closer to her true nature.
About the Author
Alexandra Kleeman has written for the New Yorker, Harper's, Paris Review, Zoetrope, Tin House, VOGUE, and n+1. She received her MFA in fiction from Columbia University and has received grants and scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Santa Fe Art Institute. She was the 2016 winner of the Bard Fiction Prize, and lives in New York.
“The smartest, strangest novel I’ve read in a while.”
— Paris Review, Staff Pick
“This debut novel by future superstar Alexandra Kleeman will be the thing to be seen reading this summer. Pick it up if you want to up your summer cool factor . . . . .Very funny, perfectly weird, a hyperintelligent commentary on a culture obsessed with you and fame.”
— Vanity Fair
“A clever satire of our culture’s ever intensifying obsession with health, diet, and body image.”
— Los Angeles Magazine
“Alexandra Kleeman has written Fight Club for girls.”
“Kleeman plays with an idea of empathy so extreme that it collapses on itself: What if there is no essential difference between humans worth bridging? The result might be an insatiable hunger for something that reminds us of our distinctness.”
— The Atlantic
“Don’t be fooled by the sassy title-the cravings that lurk beneath the surface in this completely original debut will haunt what a body means to you indefinitely.”
— Marie Claire
“A powerful allegory of our civilization’s many maladies, artfully and elegantly articulated, by one of the young wise women of our generation.”
— New York Times Book Review
“The symbols of modern anomie in this novel are familiar (soulless supermarkets, insane mass entertainments, etc.), but Ms. Kleeman has a singular, off-kilter style, and a distinct vision of the absurd horrors that can come with being trapped in a body.”
— New York Times
“At once eerie and strange and beautiful, an incisive commentary on contemporary culture and womanhood.”
“Excellent . . . Sprinkled with detailed summaries of invented advertisements, the book describes a consumer landscape just on the far side of plausible. You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine is a story about realizing you’re hungry and trying to find out what for.”