People Are Funny
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Published in: July-August 2018 issue.


My Ex-Life:  A Novel
by Stephen McCauley
Flatiron Books. 324 pages, $25.99


WITH OUR COUNTRY in dire political straits and with the daily outpouring of calamitous headlines, rarely have we been in greater need of some soothing diversionary humor, so it is great news that after an eight year absence, Stephen McCauley has resurfaced with one of his best novels. He has written six previous books, the best known being his debut, The Object of My Affection, about the relationship between a gay man and a straight woman, a theme to which he returns in this new novel. McCauley writes amiable satires using witty dialog on the mores and affectations of contemporary life, with a gay twist, implicitly questioning cultural norms.

            In My Ex-Life: A Novel, David Hedges is a fifty-something gay man, a successful college admissions consultant living in San Francisco, who helps spoiled children get into good schools. His boyfriend Soren has left him for an older man, a surgeon; he has become overweight; and his best friend Renata, a realtor, is trying to sell his ocean-view, under-market rental out from under him. Meanwhile

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Brian Bromberger is a freelance writer who works as a staff reporter and arts critic forThe Bay Area Reporter.