Mere news

I’m afraid this issue of my newsletter will contain only news, rather boringly about me. This is what comes of having a book published.

There’s still time to come to one of my bookstore events! Tomorrow (Thursday) night, Kate Bolick is interviewing me at the Strand, 828 Broadway (at 12th St.), New York. The admission ticket is your purchase from the Strand of either Overthrow or a $15 gift card that can go toward any book they sell. (For example, you could use your gift card to buy a copy of March Sisters, a new collection of essays on Little Women, including one by Kate!) So really the event is free, sort of? I’ll be bringing my blue, green, and black-and-white stamps, which together create the heraldic emblem of the fictional Working Group for the Refinement of the Perception of Feelings, visible here.

Hope to see you there! Or at one of these:

  • Sunday, September 8, 4pm: McNally-Jackson, South Street Seaport, 4 Fulton Street (a new location for the store!), Manhattan.
    In conversation with Astra Taylor, author of Democracy May Not Exist, but We’ll Miss It When It’s Gone, about her book and mine.

  • Wednesday, September 18, 6pm: Book Passage, 1 Ferry Building, San Francisco.
    In conversation with Anna Wiener, author of the forthcoming Uncanny Valley.

  • Saturday, September 21, 4pm: Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, California.
    In conversation with Elaine Blair, essayist for the New York Review of Books.

Overthrow has received some lovely reviews. Julian Lucas, for the New York Times Book Review: “A 19th-century social novel for the 21st-century surveillance state.” Anthony Domestico, for the Boston Globe: “Legitimately great psychological fiction.” Jane Hu, for Bookforum: “It is, at heart, a novel that repeatedly asks: What makes a good reader?” Garth Greenwell, in The New Yorker: “Like seeing a world made hyper-real, crisper and more intense, as through some phenomenological Instagram filter.” Mark Athitakis, in the Washington Post: “Overthrow accomplishes its mission.” Annalisa Quinn, in NPR: “A carefully unsentimental book.” I know that it’s rare these days for a novel to get so many well-written, insightful reviews, and I’m deeply grateful.

I’ve been interviewed about the novel by Gil Roth for the Virtual Memories Show podcast, by Christopher Bollen for Interview magazine, by James McDonald Feder for Kirkus, by myself for Powell’s bookstore, and by Amy Guth of Chicago’s WGN Radio. I also did an Instagram “residency” for the Chicago Review of Books, where I showed off my mood board, my messy manuscript, and my Luddite writing tools.

In other news, I wrote a review-essay about labor unions for the August 26th issue of the New Yorker. It focused on Steven Greenhouse’s Beaten Down, Worked Up and Emily Guendelsberger’s On the Clock, as well as two older books, Jake Rosenfeld’s What Unions No Longer Do and Nelson Licthtenstein’s State of the Union. (I posted a note about these and other sources on my blog.) The article seems to have put me in the good graces of the Party:

Sorry this newsletter is so one-note! I hope to go back to reading books and having thoughts soon. In the meantime, please come to a bookstore and buy a copy of Overthrow! And if you happen to like it, please tell a friend. Word of mouth is the way books like mine find readers.