(Photo credit: Patrick Nersesian)
We can only describe this one has an alternate history epic. Think Kurt Vonnegut meets Revelation. Arthur Nersesian will join us via Zoom to introduce this sprawling look at a post-cataclysmic America that never was, but as in most speculative fiction, still is at the same time. He will be joined by PEN Faulker award winner Kate Christensen (The Great Man, The Last Cruise).
About The Five Books of (Robert) Moses: After a domestic terrorist unleashes a dirty bomb in Manhattan in 1970, making the borough uninhabitable, FBI agent Uli Sarkisian finds himself in a world that is suddenly unrecognizable as the United States is faced with its greatest immigration crisis ever: finding housing for millions of its own citizens. The federal government hastily retrofits an abandoned military installation in the Nevada desert, vast in size. Despite the government's best intentions, as the military pulls out of "Rescue City," the residents are increasingly left to their own devices, and tribal warfare fuses with democracy, forming a frightening evolution of the two-party system: the gangocracy. Years after the Manhattan cleanup was supposed to have been finished, Uli travels through this bizarre new New York City, where he is forced to reckon with his past, while desperately trying to get out alive.
The Five Books of (Robert) Moses alternates between the outrageous present of Rescue City and earlier in the twentieth century, detailing the events leading up to the destruction of Manhattan. We simultaneously follow legendary urban planner Robert Moses through his early years and are introduced to his equally ambitious older brother Paul, a brilliant electrical engineer whose jealousy toward Robert and anger at the devastation caused by the man's "urban renewal" projects lead to a dire outcome.
Arthur Nersesian's most important work to date examines the political chaos of today's world through the lens of the past. Fictional versions of real historical figures populate the pages, from major politicians and downtown drag queens to notorious revolutionaries and obscure poets.
About Arthur Nersesian: Arthur Nersesian is the author of fourteen books, including the cult-classic national best seller The Fuck-Up (more than 100,000 copies sold), Suicide Casanova, Manhattan Loverboy, East Village Tetralogy, and Mesopotamia. He is a native New Yorker who runs a writing workshop in the East Village
About Kate Christensen: Kate Christensen is the author of six prior novels, most recently The Astral, and the memoir Blue Plate Special. The Great Man won the 2008 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. She has written reviews and essays for numerous publications, including The New York Times, Vogue, Elle, The Wall Street Journal, and Food & Wine. She lives with her husband in Portland, Maine. www.katechristensen.net