Everything you need to understand or teach The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth Mckenzie.
The Portable Veblen is a novel set in present day California, mostly in and around Palo Alto. The novel centers around the engagement of office worker Veblen Amundsen-Hovda and neurologist Paul Vreeland. Over the course of the novel, Veblen and Paul must navigate the struggles of their relationship, including differing values and dysfunctional relatives. Meanwhile, Paul’s new medical device is licensed by a large pharmaceutical company, and Paul must run the clinical study. It becomes increasingly clear that the pharmaceutical company is engaging making unethical business decisions, and Paul must decide what to do. Ultimately, Paul reports the company to the authorities and comes around to Veblen’s way of thinking on most things. Veblen and Paul go through with the wedding and appear to live happily as a married couple. The Portable Veblen is told in a mostly linear fashion, with occasional flashbacks to develop characters and fill in backstories.