Author(s): Rachel Cantor
Is a new life possible? Shira is a permanent temp with a few short stories published in minor literary magazines and a PhD on Dante's Vita Nuova that she abandoned halfway. Her life has some happy certainties, though: she lives with her friend Ahmad, and her daughter, Andi, on the Upper West Side. They're an unconventional family, but a real one, with Friday night dinner rituals, private jokes and the shared joys and strains of any other family. A deft, funny, and big-hearted novel about second chances, Good On Paper is a grand story of family, friendship and possibility.
The miracle of a text moving from one language into another, the struggle to translate the languages of our own family to other people and to ourselves these questions lie at the heart of the whip-smart and wildly moving"Good on Paper." Rachel Cantor is masterful at creating characters who feel so alive we think for a moment that they could step right off the page and into our world. Her voice is one to celebrate. Laura van den Berg, author of"Find Me" A bustling tale of love, family, language, and flight, "Good on Paper" never fails to entertain us at the deeper levels, despite its lightness of tone. It is a vivacious, potent blend of the touching and the erudite, the garrulous and thoughtful, the playful and the tender. Jim Crace, IMPAC Award-winning author of "Harvest" "Good on Paper" is full of invention and emotional generosity. It's also packed with Cantor's love of humanity and language. It's a delightful read. A.L. Kennedy, author of "Day" Cantor clearly loves her characters, and she shows true mastery of their inner lives...You'll want to reread the final chapters more than once, delighted anew each time by how well Cantor speaks our language. In this feat of a novel, knowledge is a tiny first step on the way to understanding. " "Kirkus Reviews," starred review " Translation is a metaphor through which Cantor uses her considerable powers with language to refract larger questions about family bonds, storytelling, and letting go of fantasies of new life and waking up to the life that is yours." Publishers Weekly," starred review" " [Cantor's] second novel, Good on Paper...sounds a bit different but just as enticing. "The Millions," Most Anticipated Books of 2015 Praise for "A Highly Unlikely Scenario" by Rachel Cantor A dystopian satire; a story about storytelling, believing and listening A Highly Unlikely Scenario is ultimately a history of our own strange world. "New York Times Book Review " [A] dizzying fabulist debut. "Washington Post" An" io9" pick for the Essential Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of 2014 [Cantor's] imagination is exhilarating "A Highly Unlikely Scenario" will appeal to fans of sci-fi and people who just like to laugh. "Cosmopolitan," 10 Books by Women You Have to Read This Spring Cantor s first novel never takes an obvious turn when a stranger one might do and the result is a plot that bounces, soap-bubble like, above a world that is equal parts absurdity and whimsy the whole thing has the air of a fable translated from a very foreign language. "io9" Ultimately, more than incantations and codes, it s family Cantor cares about. "A Highly Unlikely Scenario" is about just that: Familial wisdom and love lost and found and shared anew, finally, conquering all. "Daily Beast" A treat for those who like zippy sci-fi paced like the stories of Kurt Vonnegut. "Time Out New York" With publication of "A Highly Unlikely Scenario," Rachel Cantor joins the ranks of authors who are able to turn philosophical concepts into whiz-bang plots, and make them funny as well. Throw in some family dysfunction, time travel, a librarian ingenue, and the possible destruction of the world, and you ve got an adventure story replete with nerdy delights. "Tor" The book s plot, which concerns a future where fast food corporations run the world, is deliciously weird enough to work in its own warped way, walking the line between straight fantasy and fiction. "Flavorwire" A Hall of Fame bestseller in "The Millions" A "Book Riot" Must-Read Book from Indie Presses for 2014 A heroic tale unlike any other: a novel that is not about a quest but about learning that the world our world is full of extraordinary, mysterious wonders. "Kenyon Review" This debut novel is a present to both sci-fi and humor fans alike. "Barnes & Noble Book Blog," January indie books roundup In this roller-coaster debut, fast-food corporations rule the world and a peon customer-service worker has to save it Cantor is in control of her material, and successful dystopian satire makes more sense while you re lost in it. "Heeb, Best Books of the Year" Brooklyn-based writer Rachel Cantor has created a whole new world in her debut novel a humorous and playful science fiction story." "Brooklyn Eagle" Delightful The sense of excitement in Cantor s prose, which propels this familiar story of a few silly, frightened people braving their way through a maddening, baffling world, is what compels us to keep reading. "The Rumpus" A Book of the Week pick from WORD bookstore on Largehearted Boy The great pleasure of such novels is the world-building, in which the author invents a new universe while playfully commenting on our own. And what Cantor does of this is great, her impish prose and dry wit perfectly suited to the task. "The Independent" (UK) An intrepid debut. "Kirkus Reviews" Cantor suspends disbelief and creates a loony world entirely of her own, which is terrifically funny and effortlessly enjoyable. This highly entertaining and adventurous tale will leave readers rooting for Leonard to save the world, with or without his coupons. "Publishers Weekly" [A] rambunctiously smart, pun-spiked, and sweet dystopian romantic comedy Glimmering with signs and wonders and laced with satirical jabs at technological intrusiveness and deception, Cantor s funny and charming metaphysical adventure and love story is a wily inquiry into questions of perception, knowledge, mystery, legacy, and love. "Booklist" Cantor s novel will be a great hit for fans of Douglas Adams s "Hitchhiker s Guide to the Universe." There s a lot going on here, and all of it is amusing. "Library Journal" It s as if Kurt Vonnegut and Italo Calvino have collaborated to write a comic book SF adventure and persuaded Chagall to do the drawings. Rachel Cantor s cabinet of curiosities, "A Highly Unlikely Scenario," is one of the freshest and mostly lively novels I have encountered for quite a while. Jim Crace "A Highly Unlikely Scenario" is a joyful book, full of the energy of undiluted invention and the thoughtful imagination of a writer to watch. It s a wild ride and much more funny, intelligent and entirely pleasing." A.L. Kennedy A sharp, witty, and immensely entertaining debut. Cantor writes with a satirical touch, but her vision of a world dominated by fast food conglomerates holds a ring of truth, and her skill in rendering complex and highly believable characters makes for an unexpectedly moving tale. Emily St. John Mandel Part Italo Calvino, part Ray Bradbury, "A Highly Unlikely Scenario" mixes philosophy, history, religion, humor, mystery and time-travel. In this extraordinary novel, Rachel Cantor explores questions of self-knowledge, true love and family, all while saving the world and winning readers in the past, present, and future. Hannah Tinti Cosmic and comic, full of philosophy, mysticism and celestial whimsy. A story of listening, of souls and bodies, that is at once both profoundly wild and wildly profound. Charles Yu, author of "How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe" I didn t know I needed a mystical Jewish Douglas Adams in my life, but Rachel Cantor is it, and her Guide makes me shep naches every time I turn a page. Buy this book, bubeleh! It will surprise you in ways large and small, and it will fill you with delight. Emily Barton, author of "Brookland""
RACHEL CANTOR is the author of the acclaimed debut novel "A Highly Unlikely Scenario "(Melville House)" "and her short stories have appeared in "The Paris Review," "One Story," "Ninth Letter," and "The Kenyon Review," among other publications. "Good on Paper" is her second novel. Cantor was raised in Rome and Connecticut, and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.