Courtney Maum's new novel TOUCH is out May 30
From the author of the acclaimed I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You, a satirical and moving novel in the spirit of Maria Semple and Jess Walter about a New York City trend forecaster who finds herself wanting to overturn her own predictions, move away from technology, and reclaim her heart.
Sloane Jacobsen is one of the world’s most powerful trend forecasters (she was the foreseer of “the swipe”), and global fashion, lifestyle, and tech companies pay to hear her opinions about the future. Her recent forecasts on the family are unwavering: the world is over-populated, and with unemployment, college costs, and food prices all on the rise, having children is an extravagant indulgence.
So it’s no surprise when the tech giant Mammoth hires Sloane to lead their groundbreaking annual conference, celebrating the voluntarily childless. But not far into her contract, Sloane begins to sense the undeniable signs of a movement against electronics that will see people embracing compassion, empathy, and “in-personism” again. She’s struggling with the fact that her predictions are hopelessly out of sync with her employer’s mission and that her closest personal relationship is with her self-driving car when her partner, the French “neo-sensualist” Roman Bellard, reveals that he is about to publish an op-ed on the death of penetrative sex—a post-sexual treatise that instantly goes viral. Despite the risks to her professional reputation, Sloane is nevertheless convinced that her instincts are the right ones, and goes on a quest to defend real life human interaction, while finally allowing in the love and connectedness she’s long been denying herself.
A poignant and amusing call to arms that showcases her signature biting wit and keen eye, celebrated novelist Courtney Maum’s new book is a moving investigation into what it means to be an individual in a globalized world.
Early Praise for TOUCH:
“A work of zealous social critique laced with sexy romantic comedy and a just-in-the-nick-of-time family reconciliation… With a weirdly nurturing driverless car, a family emergency, a sexy art director, and wrenching and hilarious confrontations and meltdowns, Maum’s incisive, charming, and funny novel ebulliently champions the healing powers of touch, the living world, and love in all its crazy risks, surprises, and sustaining radiance.” -- Booklist starred review
“Maum’s trenchant satirical novel is about the intersection of modern technology and human interaction. Maum (I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You), who also names products for MAC Cosmetics, has such an incisive grasp of where tech and culture meet that she could add sociologist to her resume. The book also captures the mid-life crisis of a woman at the top of her game, resulting in a perceptive, thought-provoking read.” -– Publishers Weekly starred review
“Our modern world is at once hyper-connected and hyper-alienating, and in this magical/terrible time, Courtney Maum's latest novel offers us a balm, a solution, a call to action, or, at the very least, time away from our smartphones to read a compelling, perceptive, and moving story about the state of human intimacy and love in our contemporary era. Touch is at once wry and sincere, funny and serious, and you won't be able to put it down.“ --Edan Lepucki, author of California
“What begins as a satirical romp through the fields of trend forecasting and technology in Courtney Maum’s Touch deepens into a trenchant and wise portrait of what it means to be fully human at a time when the culture is trying its hardest to make us only partially so.” --Teddy Wayne, author of Loner and The Love Song of Jonny Valentine
"Touch is so smart that even its comic absurdities quiver with wisdom, as an anti-mom and a neo-sensualist confirm our suspicion that the lives of trendsetters aren’t quite what they appear to be. Maum’s writing is sharp and complex—prepare to be touched by this novel is ways you might not expect.” --Elizabeth McKenzie, author of The Portable Veblen
“With her impeccable prose and laser-sharp wit, the profligately talented Courtney Maum has delivered a timely and necessary defense of human intimacy. You'll want to hold it close.” --Henry Alford, humorist and author of Would It Kill You to Stop Doing That?
"Courtney Maum has somehow written a provocative meditation on human interaction in the technological age and a fun, touching beach read. I can't wait for it to spark all kinds of unexpected vacation discussions!" -- Jade Chang, author of THE WANGS VS. THE WORLD
“Sweet and funny. . . A sharp yet feeling satire, Touch bristles with insights into the longing for warm, messy, inefficient, and imperfect human life buried in our increasingly streamlined, disembodied now.” -- Interview mag