"Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig". -- T-shirt sloganRita wants to pop her six-year-old son Max into baggie with a zip-lock top to preserve his freshness, so she won't have to watch him lose faith in the world. Rita, who does battle with the mice in her cupboard and the fibroids gnawing in her belly, is a single parent with a mother suffering from dementia and a sister whose failing marriage is a sliding into sordid domestic details of terminal body hair disgust. Rita is living a life on the edge of urban normalcy.In Teaching Pigs to Sing, Cordelia Strube has written a novel about pain and longing and the loneliness of life - met squarely with dark wit, deadpan irony, and surprising glimmers of hope. Powered by dialogue whose seeming ordinariness masks chronic anxieties - Strube's character bounce off one another, but rarely connect - Teaching Pigs to Sing creates a completely compelling microcosm of a world frayed at the edges, where futility seems to be the number one option.Cordelia Strube's first two novels were met with unanimous praise for their freshness and irreverence. Like Atwood, she punctures the conventions of romance and pushes through the absurdities of modern life to new insights. Teaching Pigs to Sing affirms her reputation as a superb writer whose gift for social satire is matched by her extraordinary insights into the politics of love.