"Stark and compelling . . . Rigorously unsentimental yet suffused with emotion: possibly the best work yet from an always stimulating writer." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Katharine Weber’s Still Life With Monkey is a beautifully wrought paean of praise for the ordinary pleasures taken for granted by the able-bodied. In precise and often luminous prose, with intelligence and tenderness, Weber’s latest novel examines the question of what makes a life worth living." Washington Post
"[A] deeply but delicately penetrating novel." New York Times Book Review
"Weber’s unsentimental and poignant examination of what does and does not make life worth living is a heartbreaking triumph." Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"A brilliantly crafted novel, brimming with heart."Tayari Jones, author of An American Marriage
Duncan Wheeler is a successful architect who savors the quotidian pleasures in life until a car accident leaves him severely paralyzed and haunted by the death of his young assistant. Now, Duncan isn’t sure what there is left to live for, when every day has become “a broken series of unsuccessful gestures.”
Duncan and his wife, Laura, find themselves in conflict as Duncan’s will to live falters. Laura grows desperate to help him. An art conservator who has her own relationship to the repair of broken things, Laura brings home a highly trained helper monkeya tufted capuchin named Ottolineto assist Duncan with basic tasks. Duncan and Laura fall for this sweet, comical, Nutella-gobbling little creature, and Duncan’s life appears to become more tolerable, fuller, and funnier. Yet the question persists: Is it enough?
Katharine Weber is a masterful observer of humanity, and Still Life with Monkey, full of tenderness and melancholy, explores the conflict between the will to live and the desire to die.
Katharine Weber is the author of five acclaimed novels True Confections, Triangle, The Little Women, The Music Lesson, and Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear and a memoir, The Memory Of All That: George Gershwin, Kay Swift, and My Family's Legacy of Infidelities. Objects in Mirror, The Music Lesson, and The Little Women were all named Notable Books by The New York Times Book Review; two of her novels were long-listed for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and The Music Lesson has been published in twelve languages. Katharine holds the Thomas Chair in creative writing at Kenyon College.