Author(s): Thomas E. Kennedy
There has never been any shortage of business at the Tank, a high-profile firm in Copenhagen. There are round-table meetings to attend, circular memos to write, colleagues to indirectly undermine. But when the Tank's nefarious CEO announces a period of downsizing, everyone is exposed and the game-playing begins in deadly earnest. Top executive Frederick Breathwaite suspects his days might be numbered, and is frantically trying to ensure a foothold on the career ladder for his son Jes. Harald Jaeger, estranged from his wife and daughters, harbours desperate passions for an alarming number of women (including, dangerously, the Tank's married financial officer). Lost in his amorous fantasies, he has somehow managed to catch the CEO's eye - as a possible replacement for Breathwaite. Meanwhile the CEO's son Adam should be following in his father's alpha-male footsteps but instead is head-over-heels in puppy love with his au pair. And in a nearby shoe repair shop, Jes, who personally can't imagine anything worse than his father's corporate life, is pursuing a very different kind of future. As the city settles into autumn, a season of brittle days and foreboding nights, the impending downsizing causes a ripple effect that touches not just every employee in the Tank but their spouses, children and lovers as well.
Sharp, funnyand remarkably tender, Falling Sideways is a shrewdly observed tale of ambition and anxiety, of backstabbing and backsliding, of office politics and family affairs.
For fans for Justin Cartwright, Jonathan Franzen and Joshua Ferris's Then We Came to the End. This brilliant comedy of manners is set against an all-too-familiar landscape of layoffs and corporate downsizing.
Thomas E. Kennedy was born in New York. He is the author of eight novels, as well as several collections of short stories and essays, and has won numerous awards including the Eric Hoffer Award, the Pushcart Prize, the O. Henry Prize and the National Magazine Award. He teaches creative writing at Fairleigh Dickinson University, and is the father of two grown children. He has lived in Copenhagen for over two decades.