I'd love to see Jami Attenberg write a play. Having just read her hilarious yet sad and touching novel The Middlesteins, I can just picture her do a contemporary tragi-comedy. I bought the book as a Kindle Daily Deal and even though that super bargain is no longer available, this saga about a Chicago Jewish family whose matriarch is gradually killing herself with compulsive eating definitely falls into the "good read" category, and you don't have to be Jewish to appreciate Attenberg's vivid multi-character story.
The Middlesteins also fed my never-ending appetite for colorful tropes with some tasty tidbits, a few of which follow.
About guilt feelings: (and what's a novel about Jews without a reference to guilt: "guilt boiling in her stomach like an egg in hot water.
About a wife criticizing an ever less nurturing spouse:
"She pecked at Richard constantly, as if she were a sparrow and he was some crumb just out of reach."
Attenberg pictures the above couple's increasingly distant bed habits as "sleeping on opposite sides of the bed, clinging to their respective corners as if they were holding on to the edge of a cliff.
A failing family business begins "to slowly crumble, like a sick tree limb infested with a mysterious fungus.