The Portable Veblen

Longlist, National Book Awards 2016 for Fiction

The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie book jacket, 2016
ISBN 9781594206856
Penguin Press/Penguin Random House
Elizabeth McKenzie author photo, by Linda Ozaki, 2016
Elizabeth McKenzie

Elizabeth McKenzie’s work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The Best American Nonrequired Reading, and the Pushcart Prize Anthology, and recorded for NPR’s Selected Shorts. More about this author >

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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 pages,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 fiancé 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 tête-à-tête with a very charismatic squirrel.