Leaving the Atocha Station
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Granta Books
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Leaving the Atocha Station

Leaving the Atocha Station

Paperback / softback Engelska, 2012-07-05
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Adam Gordon is a brilliant, if highly unreliable, young American poet on a prestigious fellowship in Madrid, struggling to establish his sense of self and his relationship to art. What is actual when our experiences are mediated by language, technology, medication, and the arts? Is poetry an essential art form, or merely a screen for the reader's projections? Instead of following the dictates of his fellowship, Adam's "research" becomes a meditation on the possibility of the genuine in the arts and beyond: are his relationships with the people he meets in Spain as fraudulent as he fears his poems are? A witness to the 2004 Madrid train bombings and their aftermath, does he participate in historic events or merely watch them pass him by?
In prose that veers between the comic and tragic, the self-contemptuous and the inspired, "Leaving the Atocha Station" is a portrait of the artist as a young man in an age of Google searches, pharmaceuticals, and spectacle. Born in Topeka, Kansas, in 1979, Ben Lerner is the author of three books of poetry "The Lichtenberg Figures, Angle of Yaw, " and "Mean Free Path." He has been a finalist for the National Book Award and the Northern California Book Award, a Fulbright Scholar in Spain, and the recipient of a 2010-2011 Howard Foundation Fellowship. In 2011 he became the first American to win the Preis der Stadt Munster fur Internationale Poesie. "Leaving the Atocha Station" is his first novel.
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<br>Finalist for the 2011 "Los Angeles Times" Book Prize (Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction)<br>Finalist for The New York Public Library's 2012 Young Lions Fiction Award<br>Finalist for "The Believer" Book Award <br>"Wall Street Journal's" Top 10 Fiction of 2011<br>"The New Yorker's" Best of the Year in Culture 2011<br>"Newsweek/Daily Beast's" Best of 2011<br>"The Boston Globe's" Best of 2011<br>"The Guardian's" Best Books of 2011<br>"Shelf Unbound's" Top Ten of 2011<br>"New Stateman's" Best Books of 2011 <br>"[A] subtle, sinuous, and very funny first novel. . . . ["Leaving the Atocha Station"] has a beguiling mixture of lightness and weight. There are wonderful sentences and jokes on almost every page. Lerner is attempting to capture something that most conventional novels, with their cumbersome caravans of plot and scene and "conflict," fail to do: the drift of thought, the unmomentous passage of undramatic life. . . ."--James Wood, "The New Yorker" <br>"Ben Lerner's remarkable first novel . . . is a bildungsroman and meditation and slacker tale fused by a precise, reflective and darkly comic voice. It is also a revealing study of what it's like to be a young American abroad . . . Lerner is concerned with ineffability, but Adam Gordon (and the author) fight back with more than words . . . The ultimate product of Gordon's success is the novel itself." -Gary Sernovitz, "The New York Times Book Review" <br>"One of the funniest (and truest) novels I know of by a writer of his generation. . . . [A] dazzlingly good novel."--Lorin Stein, "The New York Review of Books" <br>"Flip, hip, smart, and very funny . . . [R]eading it was unlike any other novel-reading experience I've had for a long time." --Maureen Corrigan, NPR's "Fresh Air with Terry Gross" <br>"["Leaving the Atocha Station" is] hilarious and cracklingly intelligent, fully alive and original in every sentence, and abuzz with the feel of our late-late-modern moment. . . . --Jonathan Franzen

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