From “a genuine American Dostoevsky” ( The Washington Post): a dazzling, funny, bittersweet exploration of the mysteries of relationship, both human and animal.
When his favorite cat Biscuit goes missing, Peter Trachtenberg sets out to find her. The journey takes him 700 miles and many years into his past-- into the history of his relationships with cats and the history of his relationship with his wife F., who may herself be on the verge of disappearing. What ensues is a work that recalls travel narratives from The Incredible Journey to W. G. Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn. Trachtenberg ponders the mysteries of feline intelligence (why do cats score worse on some tests than pigeons?), the origins of their domestication, their terrible treatment during the Middle Ages. He also looks at the riddle of why any of us loves whom we love and all the unforeseen places to which that devotion leads us.
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Peter Trachtenberg is the author of the memoir "7 Tattoos" and "The Book of Calamaties: Five Questions About Suffering and Its Meaning." His essays, journalism, and short fiction have been published in "The New Yorker, Harper's, BOMB, TriQuarterly, O, The New York Times Travel Magazine, " and "A Public Space." His commentaries have been broadcast on NPR'S "All Things Considered." The recipient of a Whiting Writers Fellowship and a Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Trachtenburg was also honored for "The Book of Calamities," which was the recipient of the 2009 Phi Beta Kappa Ralph Waldo Emerson Award "for scholarly studies that contribute significantly to interpretations of the intellectual and cultural condition of humanity."www.petertrachtenberg.com
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