Eve Ottenberg

Reluctant Reaper

When Winnie Teitlebaum decides to commit suicide, little does she anticipate that she will be interrupted by a burglar. But she is, and her suicidal concentration is shattered. Thus begins the rather wacky relationship at the center of Reluctant Reaper, a comedy about a group of zany suburbanites, some of them quite adle-pated, some rather nuts. Some are elderly, with one foot literally in the grave. Set in Maryland in the summer of 2009, amid swine flu hysteria and the first steps of a new president, this novel portrays hypochondriacs, the Alzeihemer's afflicted, several petty criminals, colorful eccentrics and one raving lunatic, all thrown together whether they like it or not. And when they don't, they are not shy about vociferously, hilariously complaining.

Selected Works

Fiction
When two suburban retirees decide to go into the marijuana trade for extra spending money, it doesn't take long for things to go haywire, in this novel which could be called a comic meditation on mental illness.
This fourth and final volume in the series "The Human Struggle," reveals much about the causes of the war off-world, in which angels assist fighters in their battle against humanity's fascist enemies. It also traces the skullduggery of an enemy corporation here on earth, as it maneuvers to speed the planet's demise.
The third in the sci-fi fantasy trilogy, "The Human Struggle," this novel follows the fighters, Detective Orozco, head of the transuniverse orphanage, and Pavel Saltwater, computer genius. Both are heroes from the previous books.
Second in "The Human Struggle" series, this is a sci-fi fantasy about the collapse of an alternate reality and the human effort to avert it.
A sci-fi fantasy about a war of the worlds, and the human struggle to survive it.
A novel about a group of hippies, radicals and political activists in the 1960s and how they changed or did not in the ensuing decades.
This murder story, set in a great but second-rate East Coast city during the 1960s, portrays society from the top to its dregs, people fighting to survive, while struggling against powerful, ambiguous forces, deep within the human soul.
This tale of a teachers' strike pits beleaguered public workers against an ambitious official and the business model of education.
These stories and essays, a number previously published, make for a collection that is various and compelling.
A comic novel in dialogue about a group of daffy suburbanites and how they get tangled up with each other
A comic novel about a group of well-heeled ninnies who band together in a "not in my backyard" effort.
A novel about the human costs of the Iraq war.
A comic novel about a group of bumblers with a get-rich-quick scheme.
A dark drama about murder and betrayal in New York City in the 1950s.
A comic novel about real estate in Manhattan.