In 1664 Dr. Olaf van Schuler flees the Old World and arrives in New Amsterdam with his lunatic mother, two bags of medical implements, and a carefully guarded book of his own medicines. He is the first in what will become a long line of peculiar physicians. Plagued by madness and guided by an intense desire to cure human affliction, each generation of this unusual family is driven by the science of its day: spontaneous combustion, phrenology, animal magnetism, electrical shock treatment, psychosurgery, genetic research. As they make their way in the world, New York City, too, evolves—from the dark and rough days of the seventeenth century to the towering, frenetic metropolis of today.
Like Patrick Süskind's classic novel Perfume, Kirsten Menger-Anderson's debut is a literary cabinet of curiosities—fascinating and unsettling, rich and utterly singular.
about Kirsten Menger-Anderson
Kirsten Menger-Anderson's stories have been short-listed for the Andre Dubus Award, the Richard Yates Award, the Glimmer Train Short Story Award for New Writers, and the Iowa Review story contest and have appeared in a number of literary publications. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and baby.