The Mathematics of Change by Amanda Kabak
The Mathematics of Change breaks open and breaks down the equation of midlife, proving balance is imaginary and change the only possible solution.

 

The aching and terrible excitement of Carol’s affair with her graduate school professor has settled, fifteen years later, into the frustrated complacency of faculty wife responsibilities and motherhood.

Carol wants more, but can’t have more.

She can’t have as much, surely, as her best friend, the painfully enigmatic Mitch, who keeps their long-ago erotic relationship irritatingly compartmentalized and spends too much time in her secret lair of an engineering lab.

She can’t have what the gorgeous new faculty member Abby has — a publishing career, slinky dresses, and a way of prying out vulnerable and damaging confessions from even causal acquaintances.

Mitch knows Carol wants more, but she also knows it can’t come from her. She’s grappling with the terror that comes from knowing she could have everything. Her lab is on the verge of a breakthrough, and then there’s Reginald: warm, funny, British, impossibly long-distance, compelling. Except, she’s not really talking to Reginald, unless she can’t help it. Meanwhile, Carol is talking to her too much and desperately yanking their past out of the mothballs, and Abby’s primary scholarship seems to be predatory and tempting advances.

Mitch could have more than she ever thought possible, but she can’t work out the math.

A darkly witty debut novel from the recipient of the 2017 Al-Simāk Award for Fiction from Arcturus and The Chicago Review of Books.

The Mathematics of Change breaks open and breaks down the equation of midlife, proving balance is imaginary and change the only possible solution.

The aching and terrible excitement of Carol’s affair with her graduate school professor has settled, fifteen years later, into the frustrated complacency of faculty wife responsibilities and motherhood.

Carol wants more, but can’t have more.

She can’t have as much, surely, as her best friend, the painfully enigmatic Mitch, who keeps their long-ago erotic relationship irritatingly compartmentalized and spends too much time in her secret lair of an engineering lab.

She can’t have what the gorgeous new faculty member Abby has — a publishing career, slinky dresses, and a way of prying out vulnerable and damaging confessions from even causal acquaintances.

Mitch knows Carol wants more, but she also knows it can’t come from her. She’s grappling with the terror that comes from knowing she could have everything. Her lab is on the verge of a breakthrough, and then there’s Reginald: warm, funny, British, impossibly long-distance, compelling. Except, she’s not really talking to Reginald, unless she can’t help it. Meanwhile, Carol is talking to her too much and desperately yanking their past out of the mothballs, and Abby’s primary scholarship seems to be predatory and tempting advances.

Mitch could have more than she ever thought possible, but she can’t work out the math.

Layered characters, dramatic intrigue, immersive storytelling, and witty human insight position Amanda Kabak as an exciting debut novelist with peers like Nathan Hill (The Nix) and Jade Sharma (Problems).

Amanda Kabak

Author photo courtesy Rose Kaz, Rose Photo.

Amanda Kabak has had stories published in Midwestern Gothic, The Quotable, Perceptions Magazine, and other print and online periodicals. She was a recipient of the Betty Gabehart prize, issued by the Kentucky Women Writer’s Conference, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She holds an MFA from Pacific University and is a software architect in her other life.

“Smart, funny, and heartfelt, The Mathematics of Change is a brilliant debut.”

—Tayari Jones, author of Silver Sparrow

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from The Mathematics of Change

An excerpt from The Mathematics of Change by Amanda Kabak

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