Is there any father worse than Abraham?
Are there any unhappier families than the first family of Genesis?
In the follow-up to his acclaimed debut, The Bend of the World, Jacob Bacharach enlivens these existential questions in a madcap tale that replaces the biblical Ur with New York City, the land of Canaan with the rust-belt river valleys of western Pennsylvania. Told in a comic voice that Sam Lipsyte once called "shrewd, deadpan, and dirty," The Doorposts of Your House and on Your Gates hilariously transposes the biblical story of our first patriarchs into a modern world even madder than the ancient Middle East.
Fleeing from a failed relationship, Isabel Giordani leaves Manhattan for Pittsburgh to accept a job at the underachieving nonprofit Future Cities Institute and insinuates herself into the aimless lives of Isaac Mayer and his father, Abbie. An architect turned crooked real estate developer, Abbie claims to be chasing after an unexpected heavenly vision—one that inevitably embroils the Mayer family within the political and familial machinations of Fayette County, Pennsylvania. Bacharach explores the perpetually fraught themes of love, family, God, and real estate in an irreverent and unnervingly tender tale that Edan Lepucki celebrates as "simultaneously funny and tragic, sacred and profane…wise and clever from the first page to the last."