An ambitious, gripping, darkly funny family drama about the reckoning of three adult siblings with their profoundly flawed parents, set during Passover in a near-future America rife with anti-Semitism and terror
In 2022, American Jews face an increasingly unsafe and anti-Semitic landscape at home. Against this backdrop, the Jacobson family gathers for Passover in Los Angeles. But their immediate problems are more personal than political, with the three adult children, Mo, Edith and Jacob, in various states of crisis; the result, each claims, of a lifetime of mistreatment by their father, Julian.
The siblings have begun to suspect that Julian is hastening their mother Roz's demise, and years of resentment boil over as they debate whether to go through with the real reason for their reunion: an ill-considered plot to end their father's iron rule forever. That is, if they can put their bickering, grudges, festering relationships and distrust of one another aside long enough to act. And God help them if their mother finds out . . .
TELL ME HOW THIS ENDS WELL presents a blistering vision of near-future America, turning the exploits of one very funny, very troubled family into a rare and compelling exploration of the state of America itself.
Tell Me How This Ends Well is a wickedly funny, intelligent examination of the dynamics of a uniquely strange family, and David Levinson guides these characters through a plot that intensifies in such unexpected ways. Against a backdrop that feels both terrifying and yet utterly plausible, Levinson again and again finds ways to make the struggles of this clan explode with a kind of humor that most writers could not dream of pulling off. A daring, memorable novel. - Kevin Wilson, author of The Family Fang
Tell Me How This Ends Well is Cormac McCarthy's The Road doing 70mph in reverse on the 405. David Samuel Levinson's dystopian vision is deeply strange in the best way, perverse and precise and teeming with life, reminiscent of George Saunders, Flannery O'Connor, Nathanael West. A comic novel firing on all cylinders, with one eye on the highway and the other to our future. - Daniel Torday, author of The Last Flight of Poxl West
Like absolutely nothing I've read before, Levinson's brilliantly unsettling, fiercely funny novel takes on both dangerous intolerance in the near-future world, and in the confines of one wildly destructive family, where ties tighten like nooses and kith and kin can become like warring political systems. Affecting and hilarious, and filled with dark truths that gleam like jewels. I totally loved it. - Caroline Leavitt, author of
DAVID SAMUEL LEVINSON is the author of Antonia Lively Breaks the Silence and the story collection, Most of Us Are Here Against Our Will.
He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and has received fellowships from Yaddo, the Jentel Foundation, Ledig House, the Santa Fe Arts Institute, the Sewanee Writers' Conference and the Marguerite and Lamar Smith Fellowship for Writers.
He has also been published in The Atlantic, RE:AL, storySouth, The James White Review, The New Penguin Book of Gay Short Stories, The Brooklyn Review, Prairie Schooner, The Toronto Quarterly, West Branch, and Post Road, among others.
He has formerly served as the Emerging Writer Lecturer at Gettysburg College and as the Fellow in Fiction at Emory University. He lives in Brooklyn.