Washingtonian Mary Kay Zuravleff’s zany third novel, Man Alive!, opens like a thunderbolt. Wait, scratch that—it opens with a thunderbolt. Owen Lerner, a pediatric psychiatrist, is feeding a quarter into a parking meter when—blammo—he’s suddenly airborne. “No amount of deduction,” Zuravleff writes, “can explain the hot beam that lifted him like a sheet off a clothesline, shook him out a few times, and dropped him near the restaurant in a wrinkled heap.” Owen survives, but the experience changes him and his family in ways you might not expect. If you’re looking for a smart, lighthearted novel about the way families deal with trauma, this one’s for you.
This article appears in the September 2013 issue of The Washingtonian.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux