The Book Cellar
(Lauren's photo courtesy of: Pete Voelker)
Let's get weird! Adam Levin's widely praised alternate history/sci-fi/dystopia Bubblegum is now in paperback! He will be joined in conversation by Lauren Oyler (Fake Accounts, out 2/2!), and George Saunders (Lincoln in the Bardo) will also stop by to share his thoughts!
"Delightful. . .As funny, sad, compelling and exhilarating as anything on the internet or IRL. . .Levin unspools a story that dramatizes thinking to an extent that thought itself becomes as riveting as plot, but in which there's also actual plot in abundance." --The Chicago Tribune
"Fantastic. . .Deeply reimagines our world for better or worse. . .Huge and deep and dark and hilarious and trenchant and powerful and complex." --The Austin Chronicle
Event is free, but pre-registration is required. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "Adam Levin RSVP" to reserve your spot.
Access credentials will be sent the day of the event.
About Bubblegum: Bubblegum is set in an alternate present-day world in which the Internet does not exist, and has never existed. Rather, a wholly different species of interactive technology--a flesh-and-bone robot called the Curio--has dominated both the market and the cultural imagination since the late 1980s. Belt Magnet, who as a boy in greater Chicago became one of the lucky first adopters of a Curio, is now writing his memoir, and through it we follow a singular man out of sync with the harsh realities of a world he feels alien to, but must find a way to live in.
At age thirty-eight, still living at home with his widowed father, Belt insulates himself from the awful and terrifying world outside by spending most of his time with books, his beloved Curio, and the voices in his head, which he isn't entirely sure are in his head. After Belt's father goes on a fishing excursion, a simple trip to the bank escalates into an epic saga that eventually forces Belt to confront the world he fears, as well as his estranged childhood friend Jonboat, the celebrity astronaut and billionaire.
In Bubblegum, Adam Levin has crafted a profoundly hilarious, resonant, and monumental narrative about heartbreak, longing, art, and the search for belonging in an incompatible world. Bubblegum is a rare masterwork of provocative social (and self-) awareness and intimate emotional power.
About Adam Levin: ADAM LEVIN is the author of The Instructions and Hot Pink. He has been a New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award winner, a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, and a National Jewish Book Award finalist. A longtime Chicagoan, Levin currently lives in Gainesville, Florida.
About Fake Accounts: On the eve of Donald Trump's inauguration, a young woman snoops through her boyfriend's phone and makes a startling discovery: he's an anonymous internet conspiracy theorist, and a popular one at that. Already fluent in internet fakery, irony, and outrage, she's not exactly shocked by the revelation. Actually, she's relieved--he was always a little distant--and she plots to end their floundering relationship while on a trip to the Women's March in DC. But this is only the first in a series of bizarre twists that expose a world whose truths are shaped by online lies.
Suddenly left with no reason to stay in New York and increasingly alienated from her friends and colleagues, our unnamed narrator flees to Berlin, embarking on her own cycles of manipulation in the deceptive spaces of her daily life, from dating apps to expat meetups, open-plan offices to bureaucratic waiting rooms. She begins to think she can't trust anyone--shouldn't the feeling be mutual?
Narrated with seductive confidence and subversive wit, Fake Accounts challenges the way current conversations about the self and community, delusions and gaslighting, and fiction and reality play out in the internet age.
About Lauren Oyler: LAUREN OYLER’s essays on books and culture have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, London Review of Books, The Guardian, New York magazine’s The Cut, The New Republic, Bookforum, and elsewhere. Born and raised in West Virginia, she now divides her time between New York and Berlin.