Biography

Adrian Nathan West grew up in the United States and lives in Spain. He has translated more than twenty books from Spanish, Catalan, and German, among them Rainald Goetz’s Insane, Pere Gimferrer’s Fortuny, and Marianne Fritz’s The Weight of Things. His first book, The Aesthetics of Degradation, was published in English in 2016 and is forthcoming in German and Dutch. His essays and criticism have appeared in the New Your Review of Books, Times Literary Supplement, and many other journals in print and online.

Reviews

Christopher Shrimpton
The Guardian

‘My Father’s Diet, Adrian Nathan West’s debut novel, is slim, sad, comic and sharply observed . . . West’s achievement, in this subtle and delightful book, is to have rendered failure in strikingly handsome terms.’

Sam Sacks
Wall Street Journal

‘This debut offers an acute, painfully funny front-row view of a midlife crisis in action.’

Patrick Nathan
New York Times Book Review

‘Compact and stirring, [ . . . My Father’s Diet] showcases the recognizable confusion of a changing world.’

Alastair Mabbott
The Herald

Our narrator is a product of malls, low-status jobs and faded dreams, and West’s wry, precise tone captures the monotony and inertia of his daily life. But what could have been a cruel satire is elevated by his empathy for his characters and an outlook that’s compassionate rather than condescending.’

Lamorna Ash
Literary Review

‘West’s writing is acute and at times brilliant. His descriptions of bodies that have been transformed into objects of devotion, especially, are luminous and imaginative, often humorous too . . . [My Father’s Diet] is a book of subtle wit and poignancy, the scope of which is far greater than its brief length would suggest.’

Joshua Rees
Buzz

‘West has a sharp pen, capable of saying a lot with small details, and the characters feel like fully realised human beings.’


Publishers Weekly

‘Tender, sardonic, and endearingly grotesque, this coming-of-age body horror makes easy work of the heavy lifting.’


Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

‘West’s dark, slim, emotionally precise debut novel is…consistently poised on a very narrow line between blackhearted contempt for these characters and comic mockery of them. But because he never slips off that line, he generates a certain affection for his characters, even if it’s clear how that body-transformation scheme is going to go.’

Jeremy Lybarger

‘Being mindful in America, West suggests, is not to invite wisdom, but to cultivate a boredom that turns even the nation’s lunacy into something as rote as weather.’

Callum Churchill, Mr B’s, Bath

‘My uncle once became obsessed with the gym and started eating 12 boiled eggs a day, so naturally I had to read this book. My Father’s Diet didn't disappoint; Adrian Nathan West wields a conductor’s control over pathos and humour throughout, perfectly evoking the aimlessness and dissatisfaction that is endemic of a decaying American dream.’

Alex Thornber, Waterstones, Brighton

'My Father’s Diet is un-indulgently bleak, darkly hilarious, and has a truly wholesome heart. Picture a less insufferable Holden Caulfield moving through a modern Turgenev story set in small-town America. It’s a precise dissection of the antiquated ideas of manhood. Brilliant.'

Ben Pope, Review, Peckham

‘My Father’s Diet by Adrian Nathan West is funny and delightfully crafted and good. It's got everything: masculine crisis! Americana! Family drama! Body building!’

Alice Fisher, The Portobello Bookshop Edinburgh

‘Very sardonic, insightful and surprisingly tender.’

Lauren Groff

My Father’s Diet is a wry and blisteringly honest indictment of American grotesquery. It is also – miraculously – tender about the unwinnable game of masculinity in this country. I loved this book for its humour, its clarity, its wicked prose. Adrian Nathan West is a star.’

Joshua Cohen

‘Adrian Nathan West, one of our best translators, is also one of our best novelists. He gives such solemn care to such mundane American pap and crap even while denying any redemptive power to the effort and it's that denial – sorrowful, but without anger, without delusion – that constitutes his brilliance. My Father's Diet is among the most ruthlessly true chronicles of the culture – of the patrimony – that we, all of us, have ruined.’

Lauren Oyler

My Father's Diet is a strange, funny, sad, and wonderful novel. With the precision of a translator who has very good taste, West captures the bizarre vividness of America better than anyone I've ever read.’

William Giraldi

‘In My Father’s Diet, Adrian Nathan West does what the giftless memoirists cannot: he alchemizes experience into art. Here is a rare book not only for sons and their fathers but for any reader who still cares about the reach of sentences well made.’

Edmund White

‘Imagine a precise, refined eye looking at all the grotesque realities of mall life in Middle America and you’ll have a sense of My Father’s Diet. It’s as if the Joyce of Dubliners were looking at Akron.’

Praise for Adrian Nathan West

‘[The Aesthetics of Degradation]  is a brief, punchy provocation, informed by a strong sense of human compassion—an incitement to readers to think deeply and honestly about a question of profound social importance.’ Houman Barekat, Los Angeles Review of Books

Extraordinary books straight to your door.

Two, four and six book subscriptions available.
Spoil yourself or send them as a gift.

And Other Emails

Built by CHOPS.
Login
New customer?

Register to purchase books, subscriptions or post comments on our reading groups.

Register
Close