“Someone who has performed twice to thunderous laughter isn’t a comic any more than someone who throws a few good punches is a boxer. But somebody who has performed three nights a week for the last six years but fails to get laughs regularly, or even at all, is considered a bad comic, rather than not a comic at all. So, “comic” is a term I use loosely, but not lightly.”—
The Avian Gospels deserves a place on the shelf (or in the pocket) of any fan of cult or dystopian novels. It’s a story about cyclical violence, power and powerlessness, and political and cultural repression. It’s also a story about family and parent-child relationships and what it means to love another person in the face of radical danger, a novel that foregrounds the very real stakes of rebellion, both Oedipal and political. It’s a strange book, one that offers little comfort to its readers and certainly proffers no simple answers. Deeply moving and highly original, I strongly recommend this book.
I’ve had these books sitting on my “to-read” pile for awhile now, and after seeing him read last week, finally decided to dig into them. A powerfully gorgeous and religious novel. One of the most beautiful novels I’ve read in awhile.
It is colder than most Thanksgivings. The ruts in the driveway have solidified, forming seals of creaky ice. Beatrice and Clem walk to his truck in silence and she feels as if she were still onscreen. She imagines that the video game has somehow sharpened her abilities. She feels as if she could…
The guest is Adam Novy, author of the debut novel The Avian Gospels, available now from Short Flight / Long Drive Books, an independent press run by the good people over at Hobart.
“The Avian Gospels has the potential to become a cult classic,” says Publishers Weekly.
Adam and I, we talk about stuff.
Topics of conversation include: birds, birding, reviews, science fiction, false summits, agents, independent presses, Brooklyn, religion, Chicago, the Bible, 9/11, dislocation, South Pasadena, bad teachers, weddings, Jewishness, Medusa, privilege, war, semantics, Hamlet, gods, the process of un-fucking a manuscript, and the fear of getting squashed by the universe.
Some thoughts on dystopian visions, among other things, with a nod to our beloved The Avian Gospels by Adam Novy.
The one I love is Adam Novy’s 2010 novel The Avian Gospels, a take on power and torture and greenzoning and undergrounding and dehumanizing and rehumanizing. (And birds. Great big flocks of birds)… The Avian Gospels explores the deep humanity of all people and the possibility inherent in all children (don’t worry, it’s never shlocky or sentimental, and deserves a better description than that last treacly sentence). At the same, the novel shows the dramatic stakes at heart in the kind of world that dehumanizes children. You probably haven’t read Novy’s novel but you should. I highly recommend it.
Stamp Stories are texts of 50 words or less, printed on 1×1 cardstock, & shipped free from participating presses. We wanted to tie together the indie press community in a vibrant yet viable way, & so this venture was born. Through 2010, we solicited stamp-sized texts from 100 authors & distributed the physical Stamp Stories through more than 40 participating presses. [ C. ] collects all of these texts into one perfect-bound edition, releasing fall 2011.
“When I lived in Wales last year, I read Adam Novy’s The Avian Gospels on a train to Cardiff. While privately devouring the book, I was at all times publicly aware of the effect its form might have on the people watching me read—the great atheists of Great Britain. Other than the sexually enticing/horrifying time I read Bataille’s The Story of the Eye on the El in Chicago, I’d never had this kind of reading experience before.”—Necessary Fiction: Hobart’s Short Flight / Long Drive Goes Digital
The 7-foot-1 Chandler was in Chelsea visiting art galleries Tuesday when he was briefed about the fan zine. Since he was in the area, he walked into Printed Matter, the only Manhattan bookstore with “Tyson Chandler” still in stock. “There was a dope vibe in there,” he said.
Karl Taro Greenfeld‘s story collection, NowTrends, is out this week. For a sample of Greenfeld’s writing, I recommend checking out “Tincture — Part One” at Five Chapters. It’s also worth noting that several other Short Flight / Long Drive books, such as Adam Novy‘s excellent Avian Gospels, are now available as e-books for the first time.
“I had a chance to travel with Karl this weekend, as he read in Baltimore and DC. Here’s the dirt: He ate pizza with chicken on it… He prefers whiskey to beer. In the morning he turned away the wrong Eggs Benedict, the ones with crabmeat. Later he didn’t eat pizza but did eat a few wings…”—Officially Released: NowTrends by Karl Taro Greenfeld | HTMLGIANT
We think of the release of a book as being a kind of birth, and it is, an introduction of the work to the world, but it’s also a petit mort, and the thing that is killed is hope. Prior to the book’s release, everything seems possible, critical acclaim in all the right places, strong sales, foreign and film rights snatched up—in short, a general movement towards an affirmation that the world does indeed desire what the writer has to offer.
“We are emotional, angry, sad, confused. Not necessarily in that order. Or, the order is changing on a day to day basis, as new facts come to light and tough decisions finally get made and we all have time to digest exactly what has happened here in our little town known to the outside and (perhaps more importantly, in the context of this post or essay or embarrassingly disjointed collection of thoughts or whatever it is) to the inside, to ourselves, as Happy Valley.”—Notes from Inside a Burst Bubble: On the Ground in State College, PA | Barrelhouse