Sunday, June 3, 2012
PERSONAL DAYS, DESPERATE NIGHTS: A Reading with Ed Park, Jon Michaud, S. J. Rozan, and S. A. Solomon A reading with Ed Park, author of the multi-award-winning novel Personal Daysand the founding editor of the Believer; Jon Michaud, author of When Tito Loved Clara (set in Inwood and named as Barnes & Noble Review’s Year’s Best Reading 2011); S. J. Rozan, editor of Bronx Noir; and S. A. Solomon, contributor to New Jersey Noir. Click here for more info.
Paul La Farge reviews Sergio de la Pava's tremendous new novel A Naked Singularity for the Barnes & Noble Review—and slips in a nice reference to Personal Days:
De la Pava has been compared to the novelist William Gaddis, a great renderer of American speech in all its odd registers, and the comparison isn't inapt: the comma-free prose of A Naked Singularity feels almost embarrassingly contemporary, as if we were watching a new literary norm hatch from its egg. De la Pava's long courtroom scenes, told mostly in dialogue, also recall Gaddis's comic novel A Frolic of His Own, except that where Gaddis entertained the reader with the absurdity of civil procedure (my favorite instance of this being the lawsuit brought by the Episcopal Church against the Pepsi-Cola Corporation for trademark infringement, on the grounds that "Pepsi-Cola" is an anagram of "Episcopal"), Casi's story vibrates with grim intensity. Years and lives are on the line; one of the things A Naked Singularity captures best is Casi's perpetual overcommitment, his impossible attempt to do right by too many people who, too much of the time, can't do right by themselves. There are a number of good novels about work (Ed Park's Personal Days, for example) but not so many about overwork, and this is one of them.
The sidebar has links to de la Pava's novel, Gaddis's A Frolic of His Own, Infinite Jest, and PD. Heyyy—I'll take it!™