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Big Swiss: A Novel (Hardcover)
OMG. This book.
It's funny. It's sad. The ending goes darker than I expected. In short: two deeply traumatized women meet in a morally questionable way and have an affair. They admire each other's resistance to the label of trauma. There are dogs and bees. CW for extreme violence. I laughed out loud multiple times. Protagonist Greta is a hilarious, tragic character, and her love for the woman she calls Big Swiss is palpable and, of course, doomed.— Mo
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
“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.
“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)
"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