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A Precarious Man

Stefan Mattessich

Fiction

Nick is one of that hapless tribe you hear about on occasion: an English PhD who can’t find a job. Even when he does, years later and after a second career as a hack Hollywood screenwriter falls apart, the department at a university in Auckland, New Zealand, turns out to be a hornet’s nest of paranoia, arbitrary power, and guilt by association. When his consensual relationship with a student leads not just to scandal and public disgrace but a threat of prosecution for “human rights violations,” he finds himself in an all the more confounding limbo of uncertain identity and thwarted hope. His path out of despair takes him to New York, where he slips into another limbo of drugs and sex, and then to Paris, where he helps his best friend Haley, lost in her own shadows, back from an edge of madness.

A Precarious Man tells of thirty-something Nick Moran’s struggle to find a place for himself in a world where social insecurity is the rule, middle-class aspirations are out of reach, and genuine intimacy seems an all but forgotten dream. What he’s looking for is, one might say, love in the time of neoliberalism.

Paperback: $17.99

Hardcover: $30.00

Ebook: $8.99

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