MN Reads: "The Last Supper Club" by Matthew Batt
Taking a sabbatical from university teaching has never sounded more complicated and dire. In Matthew Batt's new memoir, The Last Supper Club: A Waiter's Requiem, the author recounts holding a PhD and being forced back into waiting tables.
"When I took a sabbatical for the first time, I didn't really realize how significant a fifty percent pay cut would be... go figure, I'm an English major," says Batt. "About the only thing I'd ever done that could make money was waiting tables." Batt wound up landing two jobs at restaurants that were just getting started - one of which involved memorizing an esoteric menu. "In a lot of ways, it was more intense than some of the preliminary exams and comprehensive exams I had to do for my PhD."
The tale strikes a dark-comedy tone as Batt shares colorful observations about restaurant processes, disastrous customer experiences, and the wide cast of coworkers. "Part of what I try to juggle throughout the manuscript was the kind of precariousness of my position in this restaurant as this outsider," says Batt. "I was just some poser old dude."
The Last Supper Club can be found through various booksellers including at local bookstores.
Minnesota Reads is produced at The North 103.3 with funding provided in part by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.