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Big Swiss: A Novel (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews


What a read! Beagin touches on some dark themes but in a tightly structured narrative full of ingenious metaphors and well-crafted literary allusions. Told from the perspective of a morally gray protagonist, Beagin makes us complicit with the narrator, who I totally liked. I was hooked from the first chapter, and if I find the time, I might re-read it. [Blanca]

— From Big Swiss

February 2023 Indie Next List


Big Swiss is an I-can’t-stop-thinking-about-this kind of book. When I first read the concept, I was shocked, but intrigued. Now that I’ve read the book, I want everyone else to share in my cringing, laughing, and heart palpitations.”
— Lily Sadighmehr, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA

Description


“Wild…hilarious…so good.” —Cosmopolitan, Best Books of the Year * “A laugh-out-loud bad romance for Gen Xers and an ode to misfits who just want to belong.” —Oprah Daily * “Always interesting…too fun to stop.” —Vanity Fair

“One of the funniest books of the last few years” (Los Angeles Times) about a sex therapist’s transcriptionist and her affair with one of the patients.

Greta lives with her friend Sabine in an ancient Dutch farmhouse in Hudson, New York. The house is unrenovated, uninsulated, and full of bees. Greta spends her days transcribing therapy sessions for a sex coach who calls himself Om. She becomes infatuated with his newest client, a repressed married woman she affectionately refers to as Big Swiss.

One day, Greta recognizes Big Swiss’s voice in town and they quickly become enmeshed. While Big Swiss is unaware Greta has eavesdropped on her most intimate exchanges, Greta has never been more herself with anyone. Her attraction to Big Swiss overrides her guilt, and she’ll do anything to sustain the relationship…

“A fantastic, weird-as-hell, super funny novel” (Bustle), Big Swiss is both a love story and a deft examination of infidelity, mental health, sexual stereotypes, and more—from an amazingly talented, singular voice in contemporary fiction.

About the Author


Jen Beagin holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of California, Irvine, and is a recipient of a Whiting Award in fiction. Her first novel Pretend I’m Dead was shortlisted for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize and Vacuum in the Dark was shortlisted for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for comic fiction. She is also the author of Big Swiss. She lives in Hudson, New York.

Praise For…


"Sexy and darkly funny, at its core this novel turns preconceived notions about mental health, obsession, and trauma upside down." —Rachel Sonis, Time's Must-Read Books of 2023

"A hilarious, dark and quirky coming-of-middle-age story." —NPR, Best Books of 2023

“One of the funniest books of the last few years. . . . Beagin may sooner be hotter than a farm-to-table restaurant in a bougie upstate town, but her work will be around much longer. . . . both timely and ultimately transcendent.” —The Los Angeles Times

“It's wild, it's hilarious, and it's so good.”—Cosmopolitan, Best Books of 2023 (So Far) 

"The funniest fiction I’ve read all year... This deliciously eccentric sex comedy bristles with wit and weirdness, but beneath all the antics is a tender heart." —Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker

"An incredible book. . . I couldn't put it down." —Jodie Comer

“[Beagin’s] most exciting book yet . . . [an] idiosyncratic love story . . . wrenching and hilarious. ”—New York Magazine

“Always interesting and frequently hilarious . . . the ride is too fun to stop.” —Anthony Breznican, Vanity Fair

"Darkly comic." —New Yorker

Big Swiss is a refreshingly anti-trauma-plot novel… The book is wry, fresh, and absorbing.”—Bindu Bansinath, The Cut

A fantastic, weird-as-hell, super funny novel.” Bustle

“Beagin writes with a zany, overflowing energy. . . . Big Swiss is a comic novel, but it is one with a very tender core.”  —Vogue, Most Anticipated Books of 2023

“Beagin may have found the best vehicle yet for her nihilist whimsy.” —Entertainment Weekly, Most Anticipated Books of Winter 2023

“Weird and horny and unfettered in all the best ways.” The Millions, Most Anticipated Books of 2023

“Beagin’s black comedy is a laugh-out-loud bad romance for Gen Xers and an ode to misfits who just want to belong. . . . If you have a weakness for gossip, this clever and sneakily insightful book is all about the guilty pleasure of peering into other people's private lives.” —Oprah Daily

“Erotic cottagecore as only Jen Beagin can do it.” —Electric Lit

“Delightfully bizarre, darkly humorous . . . the story’s oddity is as beguiling as the voyeuristic itch it scratches." —Wall Street Journal

"Outlandish . . . quirky, darkly humorous. . . . One of the biggest literary hits of 2023." —Times Union

“This funny, offbeat story asks questions about telling the truth, falling in love, and who we really are when no one else is looking—or so we think.”Town & Country, Best Books of 2023 (So Far)  “This unconventional love story has a surplus of appeal from page one.”Publishers Weekly “Beagin returns with another wonderfully off-kilter protagonist. . . Big Swiss establishes her place among artfully eccentric writers like Nell Zink, Elif Batuman, and Jennifer Egan.” Kirkus 

Big Swiss is a dark party; a hilarious romp through new age pop psychology, romantic obsession, sapphic acrobatics, dogs, and the desire to end it all. Beagin’s voice is an engine all its own, and I delighted in this cynical, sexy, hopeless, hopeful, Hudson Valley jubilee. Come for the bees, stay for the donkeys!” —Melissa Broder, author of Milk Fed

"A strange and seductive book that will stick with me. Big Swiss is a visceral and confronting reading experience that made me laugh and think too much (the right amount?) about sex and death and honesty, and why we're all so bloody obsessed with trauma." Monica Heisey, author of Really Good, Actually “I chugged this book! Pick it up because you like cheese, stay for the brilliant sentences. Beagin channels everything evil, hot, intimate, and funny about spying on people while secretly hoping to get caught. By the end you’ll be so in love you’ll want to move to Hudson yourself, no matter how messy it gets.” Beth Morgan, author of A Touch of Jen
Product Details
ISBN: 9781982153083
ISBN-10: 1982153083
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date: February 7th, 2023
Pages: 336
Language: English