LONGLISTED FOR THE WOMEN’S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2023
The darkly comic new novel from the bestselling author of The Portable Veblen
‘Even funnier, even more romantic than McKenzie’s wonderful last’ Karen Joy Fowler
Penny Rush has problems. Freshly divorced from her mobile knife-sharpener husband, she has returned home to Santa Barbara to deal with her grandfather, who is being moved into a retirement home by his cruel second wife. Her grandmother, meanwhile, has been found in possession of a sinister sounding weapon called ‘the scintilltor’ and something even worse in her woodshed. Penny’s parents have been missing in the Australian outback for many years now, and so Penny must deal with this spiralling family crisis alone.
Enter The Dog of The North. The Dog of the North is a borrowed van, replete with yellow gingham curtains, wood panelling, a futon, a pinata, clunky brakes and difficult steering. It is also Penny’s getaway car from a failed marriage, a family in crisis and an uncertain future. This darkly, dryly comic novel follows Penny as she sets out in The Dog to find a way through the curveballs life has thrown at her and in doing so, find a way back to herself.
Elizabeth McKenzie is the author of the novel The Portable Veblen, which was a finalist for the Baileys Women’s Prize and longlisted for the National Book Award; a collection, Stop That Girl, shortlisted for The Story Prize; and the novel MacGregor Tells the World, a Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, and Library Journal Best Book of the Year. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Best American Nonrequired Reading, and recorded for NPR’s Selected Shorts.
”'Even funnier, even more romantic than McKenzie's wonderful last, The Portable Veblen. You will be surprised, delighted, and grateful to be aboard The Dog of the North with the admirable Penny Rush as she faces every challenge her wild and crazy family can throw at her. A book that lifts the spirits.” - Karen Joy Fowler, author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
‘Darkly absurd and slyly insightful. A genuinely comic novel and a potent, poignant investigation into grief and the myriad ways we flailingly, failingly attempt to avoid the pains of loss. Miranda Popkey, author of Topics of Conversation -
”'Gloriously entertaining, intelligent, presented with great insight and skill. An exuberant comedy of human behaviour at its nuttiest.” - The Times
Praise for The Portable Veblen… -
”'Seriously funny and extraordinarily well written” - Jonathan Franzen
”'I can’t remember a book I enjoyed more” - Nina Stibbe
”'McKenzie has a wonderful eye for the craziness that is everywhere in ordinary life” - Tessa Hadley