The University of Wisconsin Press


Fiction

 

How I Beat Coca-Cola and Other Tales of One-Upmanship
Carl Djerassi

Terrace Books


“Carl Djerassi can write knowledgeably and wittily not only about scientists, but also about smart, competitive, obsessive people from many other walks of life.”
—David Lodge, author of Changing Places and A Man of Parts

Carl Djerassi crafts a shrewd collection of comedies of manners, exposing the foibles of elite tribes—business executives, chefs, scientists, professors, musicians, and other clever characters. They spar in battles of one-upmanship using class, education, gender, or prestige as their weapons, sometimes leaving damaged bystanders in their wake but sometimes finding their superiority deflated by unexpected turns of events.

“One of the pleasures of Carl Djerassi’s witty, richly detailed stories is that they have the rare merit of letting us look into some special works—art, science—that are usually closed to writers who are only writers. The pen of the trained observer is as acute as his eye.”
—Diane Johnson, author of L’Affaire

“This was a meal which, the more I ate, the hungrier I became. . . . The stories are attitudinal and intellectual, even instructive. They bring the reader into the culture and ‘cultivated taste’ of the sophisticated, worldly, even jaunty Djerassi: upper-crust Brits, opera, food, art, money, and sex (and sex and sex). . . . These stories are sophisticated fun.”
—Jeffrey I. Seeman, Chemical & Engineering News

Carl Djerassi (1923–2015) was the author of many novels, plays, essays, poetry, and short stories published in twenty languages. Renowned as both a writer and a scientist, he was an emeritus professor of chemistry at Stanford University and the recipient of thirty honorary doctorates as well as many international scientific honors. His books published by the University of Wisconsin Press are: How I Beat Coca-Cola and Other Tales of One-Upmanship; Foreplay: Hannah Arendt, the Two Adornos, and Walter Benjamin; Sex in an Age of Technological Reproduction: “ICSI” and “Taboos”; and A Diary of Pique 1983–1984 / Ein Tagebuch des Grolls 1983–1984.

Please see this obituary published in the New York Times.

For more information about the author and his other works, visit djerassi.com.



Praise:

“This was a meal which, the more I ate, the hungrier I became. . . . The stories are attitudinal and intellectual, even instructive. They bring the reader into the culture and ‘cultivated taste’ of the sophisticated, worldly, even jaunty Djerassi: upper-crust Brits, opera, food, art, money, and sex (and sex and sex). . . . These stories are sophisticated fun.”
—Jeffrey I. Seeman, Chemical & Engineering News



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Of Related Interest
How to Disappear
A Memoir for Misfits
Duncan Fallowell
Winner of the 2012 PEN/Ackerley Prize for Memoir
“A strange and wonderful book. Fallowell is a marvelous raconteur who seems incapable of writing a dull sentence.”—James Magruder, author of Sugarless

 



PAPERBACK ORIGINAL
September 2013
LC: 2013010471 PS
168 pp.   5 1/2 x 8 1/4

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Paper $19.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-29504-2
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ISBN 978-0-299-29503-5
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“These stories describe abstract conflicts, jockeying for prestige, or social interactions seen as complexes of negotiation, and the pleasure they give is akin to that of being taken through a skillful game of chess by an explicitly authoritative commentator.”
—Colin Greenland, Times Literary Supplement

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