Earlier this month Europa Editions published Steve Erickson’s ninth novel, These Dreams of You, which takes readers on a journey across two continents, following the Nordhoc family as they search for truth against a backdrop of economic uncertainty.
Hailed as a key figure in postmodern and avant-pop literature, Erickson, a faculty member of CalArts MFA Writing Program and editor of the Institute’s literary journal Black Clock, offers readers another nontraditional narrative in These Dreams of You.
From New York Times Sunday Book Review (Feb. 5, 2012):
You don’t need to read a word of Steve Erickson’s new novel to figure out that it’s broken. A quick flip through its pages reveals it to be fractured into hundreds of pieces, many no longer than a paragraph or two, each island of text banked by white space and heralded by a bold capital letter, like so much typographical bling. This visual oddity is just one of many ways the novel willfully resists being read as a conventional narrative. It alerts us to Erickson’s more idiosyncratic designs and serves as an advisory for readers: not for the faint of heart.
Not that Erickson has ever written for the faint of heart. Extolled by Pynchon, likened to Nabokov, DeLillo and Ballard, he has been deemed a surrealist, a visionary, a genius. His fictions play out among the shifting landscapes of sci-fi, fantasy, postmodernism and avant-pop. Occasionally, “These Dreams of You” reads less like a book than a prose contraption engineered to pry us loose from our bearings.
Erickson is one of the featured speakers at tomorrow night’s (Feb. 16) installment of the ALOUD series at the Los Angeles Central Library, where he’ll join fellow novelist Percival Everett in conversation with Brighde Mullins, director, USC Masters in Professional Writing Program, for the discussion Two Novelists on Memory, Identity, and Place.
The ALOUD event explores themes in Everett’s murder mystery, Assumption, and Erickson’s latest work, which both delve into issues of race, their characters’ history, the places in which they live and the search for the truth.
Percival Everett and Steve Erickson: Two Novelists on Memory, Identity, and Place
ALOUD at Central Library
Thursday, February 16
Free with reservations
In addition to the ALOUD engagement, Erickson’s upcoming appearances include:
- Wednesday, Feb. 22, 7:30 pm: Skylight Books, Los Angeles
- Monday, Feb. 27, 7 pm: Elliott Bay, Seattle
- Tuesday, Feb. 28, 7 pm: Tosca Café, San Francisco
- Tuesday, March 27, 7 p.m.: BookCourt, Brooklyn