Set in an upper middle class New England community, The Pessimists examines the often conflicting public and private lives of three socially striving couples whose children all attend (or want to attend) the same private school. Moving in and out of each character’s life, Ball gives us a deliciously scathing and darkly humorous portrait of the problematic preoccupations of white privilege.
Ball’s debut What to do About the Solomons was finalist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, a New York Times Editors’ Choice, a NYT Paperback Row selection and one of “10 New Books We Recommend This Week”; an Amazon Best Book of the Month (fiction/ literature); was hailed as “Eudora Welty with sex and Jews” by Booklist, and was also Judy Blume’s “funny, sexy, and smart” Bookstore pick in the NYT.
The Pessimists will appeal to fans of writers who examine the lives and morals of upper-middle-class and middle-class American suburbia like Curtis Sittenfeld, Rumaan Alam, John Cheever, Lauren Acampora, Ann Beattie, Jeffrey Eugenides, Jonathan Vatner, and Lydia Millet.
We already have two incredible early blurbs from Lauren Acampora, who calls it “a sweet-and-sour gimlet of a novel” and Jonathan Vatner who hails it as “reminiscent of Joan Didion.” More praise is expected imminently.
With The Solomons, Ball established herself as a keen and witty observer of community and family behaviors, a writer of acute observation, deep empathy, and brilliant one liners. The Pessimists further builds on Ball’s literary gifts as a hilarious and sensitive writer unafraid to show life’s complexities and absurdities from all angles.