Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Five great novels about people losing their jobs

Jess Walter is the author of five novels—including The Financial Lives of the Poets, which was just released in paperback, and The Zero, a 2006 National Book Award finalist—and one nonfiction book.

At the Daily Beast, he named five great novels about people losing their jobs. One title on the list:
Seize the Day
by Saul Bellow

“Everyone was supposed to have money”—at least that’s how it seems to Tommy Wilhelm, the divorced, unemployed salesman in Bellow’s fevered story of ambition and regret. Living in an Upper West Side hotel with his father (who pesters Tommy to find a job where he’ll make “five figures”), Tommy has given his entire savings to a possible con man, and over a single, frenetic day, must hustle to avert disaster. Overheated and desperate, by turns despairing and determined, Tommy is one of Bellow’s most affecting characters, a powerful refutation of the myth of the self-made American. As Bellow writes: “You can spend the entire second half of your life recovering from the mistakes of the first half.”
Read about another title on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue