The Terrible Event
David Cohen

Paperback | Jun 2023 | Transit Lounge | 9780645565331 | 224pp | 234x153mm | GEN | AUD$29.99, NZD$34.99

From the winner of the Russell Prize for Humour Writing. David Cohen's most wryly humorous and disturbing work of fiction yet.

A public memorial’s name is changed to avoid any mention of the tragedy it has been set up to commemorate. Two attention-seeking activists campaign against exclusionary policies adopted by the gift shop at a suburban shopping mall. A customer service representative becomes obsessed with a colleague who has worked from home for so long, nobody in the company remembers her. A middle-aged father loses his marriage and falls in love again with a cherished but damaged childhood toy. An academic’s research into roadside memorials takes a peculiar turn.

David Cohen’s sometimes bizarre yet pitch-perfect stories capture everyday horrors but are always shot through with a profound empathy and generosity.

The Terrible Event delivers not just one terrible event, but many events of varying degrees of terrible-ness. Death, destruction, disappearance, decline, defeat – it has something for everyone.

‘Wildly inventive. Deeply unsettling. Delightfully strange. The Terrible Event is Cohen’s best, most hilarious book yet. I absolutely loved it.’ – Bram Presser, The Book of Dirt

‘These are not the stand-up comedian’s one-liners; they have an awareness of the absurd, the surreal, the comic, in everyday life; the true comic’s unsettling serious gaze at the strange ways we make sense of existence.’ – Judges, Russell Prize for Humour Writing.