Greg Jackson

Greg Jackson was at City Lights to celebrating the release of Prodigals: Stories, published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, with a reading and a discussion.

Prodigals“People are bullets, fired,” the narrator declares in one of the desperate, eerie stories that make up Greg Jackson’s Prodigals. He’s fleeing New York, with a woman who may be his therapist, as a storm bears down. Self-knowledge here is no safeguard against self-sabotage. A banker sees his artistic ambitions laid bare when he comes under the influence of two strange sisters. A midlife divorcée escapes to her seaside cottage only to find a girl living in it. A journalist is either the guest or the captive of a former tennis star at his country mansion in the Auvergne.

Jackson’s sharp debut drills into the spiritual longing of today’s privileged elite. Adrift in lives of trumpeted possibility and hidden limitation, in thrall to secondhand notions of success, the flawed, sympathetic, struggling characters in these stories seek refuge from meaninglessness in love, art, drugs, and sex. Unflinching, funny, and profound, Prodigals maps the degradations of contemporary life with unusual insight and passion–from the obsession with celebrity, to the psychological debts of privilege, to the impotence of violence, to the loss of grand narratives.

Prodigals is a fiercely honest and heartfelt look at what we have become, at the comedy of our foibles and the pathos of our longing for home.

GregJacksonGreg Jackson grew up in Boston and coastal Maine. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, the Virginia Quarterly Review, and Granta. He is a graduate of the MFA program at the University of Virginia and has been a Fiction Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center and a resident at the MacDowell Colony and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. A winner of the Balch and Henfield prizes, he was a finalist for the 2014 National Magazine Award in Fiction. Prodigals is his first book.

The Silent History

Eli Horowitz, Matthew Derby, and Kevin Moffett discuss and read from their new novel The Silent History

from Farrar, Straus, & Giroux

Some time right around now, doctors, nurses, and—most of all—parents begin to notice an epidemic spreading among newborn children. Children who are physically normal in every way except that they do not speak, and do not respond to speech; they don’t learn to read, don’t learn to write.

Unfolding in a series of brief testimonials from parents, teachers, friends, doctors, cult leaders, profiteers, cult leaders, impostors—everyone touched by the silent phenomenon except, of course, the children themselves—The Silent History is both a bold storytelling experiment and unexpectedly propulsive reading experience. Originally conceived and serially published as an award-winning iPhone/iPad app, the book has been re-edited into a text that is vivid, amusing, and sometimes even shocking.

Eli Horowitz was thelie managing editor and then publisher of McSweeney’s for eight years. He is the coauthor of The Clock Without a Face, a treasure-hunt mystery, and Everything You Know Is Pong, an illustrated cultural history of ping pong. He was born in Virginia and lives in San Francisco.

Matthew Derby is the author of Super Flat Times. He lives derbyin Massachusetts.

 

 

Kevin Mofmoffett_kevinfett is the author of Permanent Visitors and Further Interpretation of Real Life Events. He lives in Claremont, California.