JimStoryAndRobinMcLeanAtCorneliaStreetMark your calendars! October 6 is the date of my next reading at the Cornelia Street Cafe, and I’m inviting everyone within earshot to come. It’s a Tuesday, and it will be held from 6-7:30 in their wonderful downstairs reading space. Angelo Verga, Cornelia’s redoubtable ringmaster, will be there to do the introductions of both me and Robin McLean (about whom more later) and I can hardly wait!

I’ll be reading of course from my recently published novel, Problems of Translation, or Charlie’s Comic, Terrifying, Romantic, Loopy Round-the-World Journey in Search of Linguistic Happiness (whew! Even I have to look at the cover sometimes to remember that mouthful), as well as a tidbit or two from work-in-progress. And, needless to say, I’ll be happy to sign books for anyone interested in purchasing a copy–or bring your copy, if you already have one.

I’m especially excited to be reading on this occasion with Robin McLean, who recently returned from a cross-country, summer-long jaunt reading and signing copies of her debut collection of short stories called Reptile House in every place under the sun, from New England to Texas to California to Oregon to the Midwest to Alaska, and on and on, a trip she refers to as her “sidewinder trail.”

I’m thrilled by the great reviews my novel is gathering everywhere it gets read! You may remember that Gary Shteyngart called it “an insanely amusing adventure that has a deep love of language at its belly-shaking core.” Kirkus Reviews called it “a sure-handed narrative led by a hapless but resilient adventurer” and called me “impressively inventive, and . . .  adept at the quick surprise and the odd plot twist.” Memorable phrases from comments by readers on Amazon include “unputdownable,” “Walter Mitty meets A Beautiful Mind,” “a wild, fun, improbable journey,” “so well written and the characters are so likable,” “Alice in Wonderland for adults,” and “this delightful and suspense-filled story written by a man whose very name reveals his talent.”

And Robin’s book has been getting similar praise! Jim Shepard wrote: “Robin McLean’s fiction is harrowing and wry and compassionate, and always both fiercely rooted in the world and fearlessly willing to take chances.” Publisher’s Weekly called her book “a taut volume that explores the fate of the dashed dreamer, offering charming insights into the untidy worlds of people who are not where they thought they’d be.”  And in this blog, I said of her book,Once you’ve read these nine stories, forgetting them is as unlikely as discovering the end-point of pi. Kissing cousins to George Saunders, Donald Barthelme, and perhaps even Don DeLillo, they are nonetheless powered by a distinctive new voice.”

It should be a fun evening! I hope to see everyone there who reads this post.

The skinny:
Tuesday, October 6th, 6-7:30pm, Cornelia Street Cafe (29 Cornelia St., Manhattan).
An $8 cover includes a free glass of wine.

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