The Hunger of the Wolf

A breakout book from Stephen Marche, The Hunger of the Wolf is a novel about the way we live now: a sweeping, genre-busting tale of money, morality, and the American Dream-and the men and monsters who profit in its pursuit—set in New York, London, and the Canadian wilderness.

Hunters found his body naked in the snow. So begins this breakout book from Stephen Marche, the provocative Esquire columnist and regular contributor to The Atlantic, whose last work of fiction was described by the New York Times Book Review as “maybe the most exciting mash-up of literary genres since David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas.” The body in the snow is that of Ben Wylie, the heir to America’s second-wealthiest business dynasty, and it is found in a remote patch of northern Canada. Far away, in post-crash New York, Jamie Cabot, the son of the Wylie familys housekeepers, must figure out how and why Ben died. He knows the answer lies in the tortured history of the Wylie family, who over three generations built up their massive holdings into several billion dollars worth of real estate, oil, and information systems despite a terrible family secret they must keep from the world. The threads of the Wylie mens destinies, both financial and supernatural, lead twistingly but inevitably to the naked body in the snow and a final, chilling revelation.

The Hunger of the Wolf is a novel about what it means to be a man in the world of money. It is a story of fathers and sons, about secrets that are kept within families, and about the cost of the tension between the public face and the private soul. Spanning from the mills of Depression-era Pittsburgh to the Swinging London of the 1960s, from desolate Alberta to the factories of present-day China, it is a bold and breathtakingly ambitious work of fiction that uses the story of a single family to capture the way we live now.

More details and reviews

Spellbinding… No word is out of place is this taut multigenerational tale.
— Publisher's Weekly
Superb… an inverted Great Gatsby.
— Kirkus
A dazzling virtuoso piece. Marche turns the making of a family’s fortune into a fascinating, bloody fairy tale.
— Emma Donoghue, author of Room and Frog Music
I read this book in basically a single sitting yesterday and have thought of little else since. It’s the kind of novel that makes me want to turn the last page and immediately turn it over and start reading it again. The Hunger of the Wolf is a modern masterpiece: The Great Gatsby for the new Gilded Age.
— James Frey
Brilliant … Marche has created a stunning, evocative, and impressionistic account of the ascent of wealth in the twentieth century…. The Hunger of the Wolf could be Marche’s breakthrough novel.
— Booklist, starred review

Love and the Mess We're In

When Viv flies to Buenos Aires for a secret liaison with Clive, there is no ambiguity as to their intentions—adultery. But this is where conventionality terminates in Stephen Marche’s new novel, Love and the Mess We’re In, a work whose lyric richness and inventiveness skillfully embody the tumbles and turns of love in a postmodern age. Marche collaborates with award-winning typographer Andrew Steeves to create richly polyschematic book pages whose influences range from the interwoven texts, geometric shaping and pattern-making of Hebraic calligraphy, illuminated manuscripts and incunabular typography to the ordered tangle of a New York City subway map.

Viv’s husband, Tim, is Clive’s best friend. A breakdown has landed Tim in a mental institution, seemingly beyond recovery. His collapse brings Viv and Clive together in their grief, at a loss to navigate the loneliness, guilt, lust and, perhaps, love which they discover in their unsettling and morally ambiguous new context.

Love and the Mess We’re In is an evocative, lithe story of love and redemption infused with Marche’s wit, insight and telescopic emotional range. 

So dazzling, so unsentimental… A work that is both beautiful and confusing. In other words, an honest love story.
— The New York Times
Stephen Marche is capable of writing … any darn thing he wants.
— The Globe & Mail
This country’s master creator of parallel universes.
— The National Post

How Shakespeare Changed Everything

Nearly four hundred years after his death, Shakespeare permeates our everyday lives: from the words that we speak, to the teenage heartthrobs we worship, to the political rhetoric spewed by the 24-hour news cycle. In the pages of this wickedly fun little book, Esquire columnist Stephen Marche uncovers the hidden influence of Shakespeare in our culture. 

William Shakespeare was the most influential person who ever lived. He shaped our world more than any political or religious leader, more than any explorer or engineer. The gifted playwright who moves audiences to laughter and tears has also moved history. Do any other poets even begin to change our behavior or our environment? W.H. Auden once wrote that “poetry makes nothing happen. It exists in the valley of its saying where executives would never want to tamper.” Shakespeare has wandered away from the valley of his saying and hangs around in the most unlikely places, in 1950s teen rebel movies and in psychoanalysts offices, in nightclubs and in mall food courts, in voting booths in the American South and in the trash of Central Park. The effects of his words on the world have been out of all proportion, monstrous and sublime, vertiginous in their consequences, far beyond anything he could have predicted. 

How Shakespeare Changed Everything finds
Shakespeares various effects on world history, which would have boggled his own capacious imagination.

How Shakespeare Changed Everything is fun and informative, with more than its share of ‘Aha!’ moments packed between its diminutive covers. Mr. Marche’s thesis is compelling and probably more true than we ever imagined.
— New York Journal of Books
A sprightly, erudite sampling of Shakespeare’s influence on absolutely everything.
— National Post
Informed, ebullient and profoundly respectful.
— Kirkus Reviews

Shining at the Bottom of the Sea

In this stylistic tour de force, Stephen Marche creates the entire culture of a place called Sanjania—its national symbols, political movements, folk heroes, a group of writers dubbed “fictioneers,” a national airline called Sanjair, and a rich literary history. Sanjania is an island nation whose English-speaking citizens draw upon the English, American, Australian, and Canadian literary traditions. This brilliant novel is an anthology, taking the reader from the rough and tumble pamphlets of 1870s Sanjania to the burgeoning Sanjanian nationalistic awareness in the 1930s literary journal, The Real Story, to the extraordinary longing of the writings of the Sanjanian Diaspora. These works develop into a Rashomon-like story, introducing us to illustrious Sanjanian figures such as the repentant prostitute Pigeon Blackhat and the magically talented couple Caesar and Endurance. The result is a vibrant evocation of a country—from the birth pangs of its first settlers and their hardy vernacular to is revolutionary years and all the way to the present—all told in Stephen Marche’s innovative and accomplished writing.

May be the most exciting mash-up of literary genres since David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas.
— New York Times Book Review
Impossible to categorize, impressive in execution, always enthralling, Shining at the Bottom of the Sea is a joy, and a celebration of all that is possible in literature.
— Winnipeg Free Press
A real tour de force, ingenious and hilarious, a tour of the island of one writer’s fertile mind.
— San Francisco Chronicle
Shining at the Bottom of the Sea is completely unexpected but no less a delight… Stephen Marche is capable of writing… any darn thing he wants.
— The Globe and Mail

Raymond and Hannah

This boldly contemporary love story combines sex and seriousness, physical lust and spiritual longing. Raymond and Hannah hook up at a party; a one-night stand expands into a weeklong passionate and surprisingly deep love affair. Then Hannah leaves for a year in Jerusalem. With six thousand miles separating their bodies, the energy of love and lust must be sublimated to the written word. While Hannah immerses herself in Torah and the Orthodox world of Jerusalem, Raymond remains in multicultural Toronto, working on his dissertation on Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy.

Over the school year, Hannah’s growing love for her Jewishness is more and more at odds with her love for a blond, blue-eyed WASP. And Raymond, pining in Toronto, seems to be living out his dissertation before he’s even written it. Can this new love affair survive distance, cultural dissonance, and out-of-sync, late-night e-mails?

In this remarkable debut, carnal love confronts religion and culture, and modern passion finds its counterpoint in ancient texts.

I don’t think I’ve ever had better vicarious sex—certainly not in an English Canadian novel. This is sex as voracity, fuelled by the birth of volcanic, insatiable love.
— The Globe and Mail
In his startling debut, Marche offers up a rare hybrid: the page-turner prose poem…. In this lushly Romantic book, love between Jew and atheist gentile resembles the divided city, simultaneously impossible and actual.
— Publishers Weekly
As if Abelard and Eloise had finally stumbled into the Internet Age.
— The Los Angeles Times
A wry and sexy international love story.
— New York Magazine
So dazzling, so unsentimental… A work that is both beautiful and confusing. In other words, an honest love story.
— New York Times Book Review