Book party for Mary Kay Zuravleff’s “Man Alive!”

November 15, 2013
Mary Kay Zuravleff with her friends at a book party to celebrate the publication of “Man Alive!” (Ron Charles/Washington Post)
Mary Kay Zuravleff with her friends at a book party to celebrate the publication of “Man Alive!” (Ron Charles/Washington Post)

Washington writer Mary Kay Zuravleff was the guest of honor Friday night at a party to celebrate the publication of her third novel, “Man Alive!” (Farrar Straus Giroux). About 30 friends gathered at the home of Therese Droste and Terence Bertele in Georgetown to toast her success.

“Man Alive!,” which was released in Sept., tells the story of a doctor who is struck by lightning and becomes obsessed with barbecuing. Zuravleff read a brief, hilarious love scene in which the doctor caresses his wife while naming the cuts of meat on her body. She told the guests that the idea for her novel came to her while reading a story in the New Yorker by Oliver Sacks about a doctor who was struck by lightning and began to hear piano music.

In her review of “Man Alive!” in The Washington Post, Carolyn See wrote, “Here is a family novel that everyone in the family will either love or be bowled over by — the grouchiest adolescent jock, the most embittered husband, the most hysterical adolescent daughter, the weepiest mom. Above all, this is a family novel for smart people; the smarter you are, the better you’ll like ‘Man Alive!’”

Ron Charles is the editor of The Washington Post's Book World. For a dozen years, he enjoyed teaching American literature and critical theory in the Midwest, but finally switched to journalism when he realized that if he graded one more paper, he'd go crazy.
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