Known for his iconic film roles but also for his regular pieces in the New Yorker and his critically acclaimed plays, Eisenberg is an emerging literary voice. Taking its title from a group of stories that begin the book, Bream Gives Me Hiccups moves from contemporary L.A. to the dorm rooms of an American college to ancient Pompeii, throwing the reader into a universe of social misfits, reimagines scenes from history, and ridiculous overreactions. In one piece, a tense email exchange between a young man and his girlfriend is taken over by his sister, who is obsessed with the Bosnian genocide (This situation reminds be of a little historical blip called the Karadordevo agreement); in another, a college freshman forced to live with a roommate is stunned when one of her ramen packets goes missing (She didn't have "one" of my ramens. She had a chicken ramen); in another piece, Alexander Graham Bell has teething problems with his invention (I've been calling Mabel all day, she doesn't pick up! Yes, of course I dialed the right number--2!).
In these forty-four stories, Eisenberg combines personal elements with highly imaginative settings, combining tenderness with a tragedy that lurks behind the jokey humor. The pieces, wryly amusing as single stories, become as a whole a touching exploration of the psychology of their protagonists.
United by Eisenberg's gift for character, and grouped into chapters that open with illustrations by award-winning cartoonist Jean Jullien, the witty and moving pieces collected in Bream Gives Me Hiccups explore the various insanities of the modern world, and mark the arrival of a talented, self-ironic, and original writer.