- Panorama City
- The Interloper
- Other Writing
- Side Projects
You can see in the early light of dawn
Facing the noise of the so-called Twilight
Bright stars through the perilous fight, and a wide range of his lines and
Flow because we are bold, fluttering looking at the wall?
The rockets red light, and bombs, and the explosion in the air,
Evidence throughout the night that we learned he was still;
O Star Spangled Banner still wave
Fluttering bravest of the land of the free world?
(“The Star Spangled Banner” first stanza, Google translated from English to Chinese to Russian to Korean to Arabic to English.)
Some cool things:
Coming in April 2013:
Coming in September 2013:
I must have been extra nice this year, because Santa hooked me up with some amazing end-of-year goodies:
A rave review of PANORAMA CITY in the NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW by the inimitable Adam Ross!*
I’ll be interviewed on Michael Silverblatt’s BOOKWORM on January 3rd (2:30 pm on KCRW and elsewhere) and in perpetuity on the podcast. (I’ve been a fan of this radio show for 20 years and I’m not exaggerating when I say that my encounter with Silverblatt reoriented something inside me for the better. It was straight up therapeutic. More on that in another post.)
The lovely folks at the SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE included PANORAMA CITY in their 100 Best Books of 2012.
*Remember: Don’t be fooled by the author photo.
The writing doesn’t stop on the last page, folks, even once the book is in print.
If you’re curious to read some of the occasional pieces I’ve put out in the past months, here’s a roundup:
Research Notes (at Steve Himmer’s Necessary Fiction) – in which I provide actual JPEGs to go with passages from PANORAMA CITY.
What’s the First Thing You Ever Made, Antoine Wilson? (at The Project Room) – in which I answer that question.
Book Notes Playlist for PANORAMA CITY (at Largehearted Boy) – in which I provide some tunes to go with my novel.
My First Time (at David Abrams’ The Quivering Pen) – in which I describe unboxing THE INTERLOPER for the first time.
Writers Recommend (at Poets & Writers) – in which I recommend surfing as a supplement to the writing life.
My Top 10 Narrators in Literature (at Publisher’s Weekly) – in which I betray some biases, for good or ill.
You’re Doing It Wrong: Video Games vs. Books, Part 1 (at Booklist) – in which Patrick Somerville and I go head-to-head on video games versus books. Here’s Part 2, where things get really crazy.
When We Fell in Love (at 3 Guys 1 Book) – in which I name-check the early influence of Auster, Pynchon, and Baldwin.
My Book, the Movie – in which I dream-cast a movie of my novel.
If your curiosity is stalker-level, here’s a roundup of interviews and podcasts.
Literary Death Match, Nov 7 at Busby’s East in L.A.
I’ll be reading with/competing against:
Adam Novy, author of The Avian Gospels
Tracy McMillan, television writer and author of Why You’re Not Married…Yet.
Shawna Kenney, author of the Firecracker Award-winning memoir, I Was a Teenage Dominatrix, and Imposters, a book about celebrity impersonators.
This is going to be fun. It’s $10, and the first 100 tickets get a copy of PANORAMA CITY in the bargain. Because that’s the kind of guy I am. Come cheer me on, amigos.
My book tour is officially over.
This time around, I had the pleasure of reading and Q&Aing at an amazing group of thriving independent bookstores. Each bookstore provided a glimpse into a lively community of readers and writers, whether they’d been around for 20+ years (Diesel in Oakland) or had only just moved to a new location (A Room of One’s Own in Madison). As soon as I walked in the door of any of these stores, my first thought was: Yeah, I could live in this neighborhood. Then: These are my people.
I want to say thank you to each of these stores. For hosting wonderful events. For hosting me. For their commitment to good books. And, finally, for the books I picked up in each of their stores, books that will be forever intertwined in my memory with my experience of the stores themselves.
(The best thing about physical books is not the smell of the paper, the look of the type, even the heft of the book itself, but the associations they carry. That stained page, that receipt or metro card tucked between pages, that torn dust jacket–they take you back to a moment, a place, people, meals…)
Without further ado…THANK YOU:
McNally-Jackson, New York. (WOLF HALL, by Hilary Mantel)
Green Apple Books, San Francisco. (SATANTANGO, by Laszlo Krasznahorkai)
Diesel, a Bookstore, Oakland. (see Diesel, L.A. Extra thanks to John Peck for the Saint Pauli N.A.)
Diesel, a Bookstore, L.A. (I buy two books a week here. This is my home away from home.)
Prairie Lights Bookstore, Iowa City. (THE WAVES, by Virginia Woolf)
A Room of One’s Own, Madison. (BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALFTIME WALK, by Ben Fountain)
BookPeople, Austin. (THE ILIAD, by Homer)
Book Soup, West Hollywood. (ZOO TIME, by Howard Jacobson)
Skylight Books, Los Angeles. (CONSIDER THE LOBSTER, by David Foster Wallace)
If you’re in any of these cities, and you’re thinking of picking up a book, old or new, famous or obscure, resist the urge to one-click that shit to your house or your device. Head on down. TALK TO A BOOKSELLER. They don’t bite.
This seems wise & articulates something I’ve been thinking for a long time now, so I thought I’d share it.
Fiction’s abyss is silence, nada. Whereas nonfiction’s abyss is Total Noise, the seething static of every particular thing and experience, and one’s total freedom of infinite choice about what to choose to attend to and represent and connect, and how, and why, etc.
That’s David Foster Wallace, from his introduction to one of the Best American Essay series.
I’d rather contend with the abyss of silence.
When my German publisher Suhrkamp / Insel asked me to introduce myself to the German readers of PANORAMA CITY (titled EIN MANN VON WELT over there), I couldn’t resist trying to speak their language.
For the record, I speak not a word of German.
Location: Oxnard, CA, standing in for the dunes of Sylt.
Six years ago, anticipating the release of my first novel, THE INTERLOPER, I scribbled some hesitant notes toward a new thing.
Then I tossed out those notes and scribbled some more notes, less hesitant, toward what would become PANORAMA CITY.
Today, exactly today, it’s a book. I’m feeling something like parental pride. For the next month or so, I’ll be helping my novel make its way into the world, decorating its dorm room, buying it a microwave and a futon. Then it’ll be on its own for the first time.
For the moment, though, I’m trying to enjoy this bittersweet moment, both a culmination and a farewell.
panorama city (available now)
"THIS IS A BOOK YOU WILL HOLD IN YOUR HEAD ALL DAY LONG, A BOOK YOU WILL LOOK FORWARD TO WHEN YOU GET HOME FROM WORK, A BOOK YOU WILL STILL BE SAVORING AS YOU DRIFT INTO SLEEP. IT IS FILLED WITH JOY AND WONDER, AND A SORT OF GOODNESS YOU HAD STOPPED BELIEVING MIGHT BE EVEN POSSIBLE."
- PETER CAREY
antoine wilson * ** ***
* not my surfboard
** not my dog
*** not my apartment
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