Search: A Novel
Search: A Novel
“Delectable. . . Huneven treats us to a savory plot that blends spiritual yearnings with earthly pleasures. Forks out!”—Oprah Daily * An NPR Best Book of 2022
From critically acclaimed, award-winning author Michelle Huneven, a sharp and funny novel of a congregational search committee, told as a memoir with recipes
Dana Potowski is a restaurant critic and food writer and a longtime member of a progressive Unitarian Universalist congregation in Southern California. Just as she’s finishing the book tour for her latest bestseller, Dana is asked to join the church search committee for a new minister. Under pressure to find her next book idea, she agrees, and resolves to secretly pen a memoir, with recipes, about the experience. That memoir, Search, follows the travails of the committee and their candidates—and becomes its own media sensation.
Dana had good material to work with: the committee is a wide-ranging mix of Unitarian Universalist congregants, and their candidates range from a baker and microbrew master/pastor to a reverend who identifies as both a witch and an environmental warrior. Ultimately, the committee faces a stark choice between two very different paths forward for the congregation. Although she may have been ambivalent about joining the committee, Dana finds that she cares deeply about the fate of this institution and she will fight the entire committee, if necessary, to win the day for her side.
This wry and wise tale will speak to anyone who has ever gone searching, and James Beard Award–winning author Michelle Huneven’s food writing and recipes add flavor to the delightful journey.
Michelle Huneven is the author of four novels: Round Rock, Jamesland, Blame, and Off Course. Her books have been New York Times Notable Books and finalists for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. She is the recipient of a Whiting Award for Fiction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a James Beard Award for feature writing with recipes, and received her master’s in fine arts from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She teaches writing at University of California, Los Angeles.