Laugh till you cry in this new collection of stories from the award-winning “Serena Williams of humor writing” (New York Times Book Review) about raising babies and trying  not to be one.
Called a “comedic Godsend” by Conan O’Brien and “the Stephen King of comedy writing” by John Mulaney, Simon Rich is back with New Teeth, his funniest and most personal collection yet.
Two murderous pirates find a child stowaway on board and attempt to balance pillaging with co-parenting. A woman raised by wolves prepares for her parents’ annual Thanksgiving visit. An aging mutant superhero is forced to learn humility when the mayor kicks him upstairs to a desk job. And in the hard-boiled caper “The Big Nap,” a weary two-year-old detective struggles to make sense of “a world gone mad.”
Equal parts silly and sincere, New Teeth is an ode to growing up, growing older, and what it means to make a family.

What's Inside



The detective woke up just after dawn. It was a typical morning. His knees were scraped and bruised, his clothes were damp and soiled, and his teeth felt like someone had socked him in the jaw. He reached for the bottle he kept under his pillow and took a sloppy swig. The taste was foul, but it did the trick. Now he could sit up and think. Now he could start to figure out how to somehow face another goddam day.


He stared at his reflection in the mirror. He wasn’t getting any younger. His eyes were red and bleary. His scalp was dry and itchy. He was two years old, and soon he would be three. Unless he stayed two. He wasn’t sure if you stayed the age you were or if that changed.


He wasn’t sure about a lot of things. The only thing he knew was he was tired. Tired of this down-and-dirty life. Tired of trying to make sense of a world gone mad.


The client was waiting for him in his nursery. He’d seen her around before. She’d come onto the scene about a year ago, moving into the white bassinet down the hall. Some people called her Sweetheart. Others called her Pumpkin. But most people knew her by her full name: Baby Anna. She looked innocent enough, with her big, wide eyes and Princess Elsa onesie. But her past was murky. The detective had heard that she came from the hospital. But there was also a rumor that she’d once lived inside Mommy’s tummy. It didn’t add up. Still, a job was a job.


“So, what brings you here?” the detective asked.

“It’s Moomoo,” Baby Anna said. “She’s missing.”

The detective rolled his eyes. Moomoo went missing all the time. That was just the kind of unicorn she was. “Maybe she’s under your bassinet,” he said.

“I checked,” she said. “She’s not.”


Her eyes filled with tears. He handed her a tissue, but she didn’t know what a tissue was, so she put it in her mouth and tried to eat it.

“Please,” she said. “Moomoo’s all I have in the whole world.”


“Lost toys are small-time,” the detective said. “Why should I bust my ass to find some unicorn who’ll probably just turn up under the radiator?”


“Because I can pay you up front.”


The detective cocked his head doubtfully. What kind of scratch could a baby like Anna come up with? She wasn’t old enough to have a piggy bank. She didn’t even have pockets.

“What do you got that’s worth me getting up for?” he asked.


Anna looked him in the eye. “Stickers.”


The detective swallowed. “Are they the fun kind?”


“See for yourself.” She held up the sheet, and he took a long, slow breath.


They were fun, all right. He’d never seen so many Batmans in his life. There were jumping ones, flying ones, punching ones, kicking ones. If you counted them all up, it had to be at least three stickers.


“That’s a lot of cabbage,” he said. “How do I know these aren’t hot? Where’d you even get them?”


“I don’t remember,” she admitted. “Sometimes things are just in my hand. I also don’t remember how I got into this room or what we’re talking about.”


“We’re talking about finding Moomoo.”

She clapped her hands, to the best of her ability. “You mean it?”


“That’s right, doll,” he said. “I’m on the case.”


She threw her arms around his neck and screamed very loudly in his ear.


“Easy, kid,” he said, nudging her away. “I’ve got work to do.”


Read More Read Less

Listen to an Excerpt


"Rich presents parody, absurdity, observational wit, the sudden shift in a familiar premise, and a surprising touch of sweetness and charm throughout... [New Teeth is] so consistently funny, so exceptional in its imaginative use of parody as to be near genius. A fertile mind provides many smiles in this entertaining collection—and more than a few out-loud laughs." —Kirkus Starred Review
"With the riotous New Teeth, Rich once again sets out to tackle a universal topic: growing up. Rich provides some hilarious insights into parenting in short stories like “Learning The Ropes,” which sees a pair of pirates co-parent an adorable little stowaway. He questions an aging man’s relevance in a story about a superhero put on desk duty, and tells a biting story of found family in “Raised By Wolves.” As he comes to terms with being a dad, Rich doesn’t lose his touch for fantastical constructs that tap into all-too-real feelings." —AV Club
“Silly. Satirical. Humorous. Absurd. Hilarious. Simon Rich's work everywhere from the New Yorker to "Saturday Night Live," inspires effusive praise in its unique depiction of life.” —Zibby Owens,
“Brilliant and bizarre…Darkly comic and graciously earnest, New Teeth offers provocative takes on our unpredictable world.” —Alta
"The book every fun-loving reader needs after a tough year, this humorous collection of 11 stories showcases sincerity, insightfulness and self-aware laughs." —Shelf Awareness Starred Review
A triumph of sustained humor…. Rich’s humor is enhanced by his generous, hopeful heart…. Analyzing why it’s so pleasurable to read Simon Rich is about as helpful as analyzing why it’s so fun to spend the night with an unexpectedly excellent blind date. It’s better to do it than to talk about it.  —Sarah Lyall, NYT Book Review
"Every new arrival from Simon Rich, a former SNL writer whose works inspired the series Man Seeking Woman and Miracle Workers, is cause for celebration. His long short stories are often high concept with premises that anyone else would make corny and cringy. He is unfailingly, unselfconsciously clever, with joy permeating his work." —Vulture
"This is Rich’s singular style: combining otherworldly plots with contemporary reference and verbiage that propel a reader forward to see what in the hell he comes up with next….The majority of Rich’s stories contain morals that are never planted too deeply for a reader to spot, making this work as instructive as it is imaginative. But it is his rich display of playfulness that lets us know that we are in the hands of a writer who has never lost the love of storytelling." —NYTBR Editors' Choice selection
There are laugh-out-loud moments in NEW TEETH, to be sure, but there are also moments of quietly witty introspection or reflection...The only question for readers is if you swallow this collection whole, or bite off bits and pieces to savor every time you need a little levity. —Book Reporter
Read More Read Less