Enter the Aardvark (Hardcover)

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A young congressman discovers a mysterious stuffed aardvark on his doorstep and sets out on a rip-roaring journey to find out what it means in this "weird, wonderful, and very much of the moment" (Esquire) novel about the secrets we keep from ourselves and their history-shaping consequences.

It's early one morning on a hot day in August, and millennial congressman Alexander Paine Wilson (R), planning his first reelection campaign and in deep denial about his sexuality, receives a mysterious, over-sized FedEx delivery on his front stoop. Inside is a gigantic taxidermied aardvark.

This outrageous, edge-of-your-seat novel hurtles between contemporary Washington, D.C., where Wilson tries to get rid of the unsightly beast before it destroys his career, and Victorian England--where we meet Titus Downing, the taxidermist who stuffed the aardvark, and Richard Ostlet, the naturalist who hunted her. Our present world, we begin to see, has been shaped in profound and disturbing ways by the secret that binds these men.

At once a ghost story, a love story, and a stunningly prescient political satire, Enter the Aardvark confronts the consequences of repressed male love meeting oppressive male power, and is a searing condemnation of our current American blindness. It is also that rarest of creatures: a work of art so utterly original and masterfully built that it seems to have spring fully formed from its visionary maker's head.

About the Author

Jessica Anthony has been a butcher in Alaska, an unlicensed masseuse in Poland, and a secretary in San Francisco. In 2017, while writing Enter the Aardvark, Anthony was working as "Bridge Guard," guarding the Maria Valeria Bridge between Sturovo, Slovakia and Esztergom, Hungary. Normally, she lives in Maine and teaches at Bates College.

Praise For…

you've been wondering, as I have, where the spirit of Nathanael West might be
in these berserk and awful times, enter Jessica Anthony. With her highly
inventive, ever attentive, and morally serious (as all great comedy must be) Enter
the Aardvark
, she estranges all over again our deplorable political moment,
and thereby helps make it bearable."—JOSHUA FERRIS, author of The Dinner Party and Then We Came to the End

"It's a long time since I have enjoyed a novel so
much. Fresh, witty and smart, it also has a heart. What more could
you want? And who would have thought that you could become emotionally attached
to a stuffed aardvark?"—KATE ATKINSON, author of Big Sky and Life After Life

Anthony's Enter the Aardvark is a
truly fresh piece of art. It is rare that a novel addresses the current
political moment. With humor, intelligence and a keen eye for detail
Anthony paints a frightening picture of this America. And above all else,
this novel never lowers itself to preaching to the choir. This is a great
satire."—PERCIVAL EVERETT, author of So Much Blue and Erasure

the Aardvark
is one wild ride: a condemnation, a haunting, a song of love,
a madcap political thriller-and it is absolutely unputdownable. I have long
been a massive fan of Jessica Anthony's writing and this novel cements her as
one of our most thrilling and singular innovators on the page. Welcome,
readers, to her world."—LAURA VAN DEN BERG, author of The Third Hotel

"Weird, wonderful, and very much of the moment, Enter the Aardvark is a landmark political novel of the Trump era...With
heart and humor, Anthony expertly skewers our current political climate."—ESQUIRE

"This book is batshit insane and I love it. What do
a closeted gay Republican congressman who's obsessed with Ronald Reagan have in
common with a taxidermist in 19th-century England? Answer: an aardvark. And
also much more, but I'll let you discover the rest for yourself."—LitHub

"I've been waiting a long time for a book like Jessica
Anthony's Enter the Aardvark, a book
that not only manages to bridge supposedly unbridgeable divides in
politics, in time, in geography, in love and sex, but also manages to do
so by way of a time-traveling taxidermied aardvark. If that sounds
unlikely, well, yes, exactly, that's why I've been waiting for so long for it-this
unlikely, hilarious, moving, ingenious book. Enter the Aardvark is an absolute original, and so is Jessica
Anthony."—BROCK CLARKE, author of Who are You, Calvin Bledsoe? and An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England

"Jessica Anthony is a writer possessed of mind-bending talents."—HEIDI JULAVITS, author of The Folded Clock

"The feat of a virtuoso stylist who makes the wildly impossible
seem everyday. Anthony stabs with tenderness, drags us through the
purifying muck of love, and writes a refrain that does not repeat. A novel
of riotous longing echoing across our continents and eras."—SALVADOR PLASCENCIA, author of The People of Paper

raving, starting now."—TERESE SVOBODA
Product Details
ISBN: 9780316536158
ISBN-10: 0316536156
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: March 24th, 2020
Pages: 192