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Radio Irisby Anne-Marie Kinney
Synopses & Reviews
Iris feels goose bumps rising on her forearms, but hesitates to touch the thermostat. Her synthetic leather pumps are filling with sweat, creating an embarrassing squeak when she walks, but those tiny bumps on her arms are rising up in mute defiance. Her ninety-nine cent eyeliner is melting, a line of chocolate brown stamped now in the creases of both eyelids, but her lips are cold and chapped. Her body cannot agree with itself, and it is two minutes after two o'clock.
Radio Iris follows Iris Finch, a twentysomething socially awkward daydreamer and receptionist at Larmax, Inc., a company whose true function she doesn't understand (though she's heard her boss refer to himself as "a businessman").
Gradually, her boss erratic behavior becomes even more erratic, her coworkers begin disappearing, the phone stops ringing, making her role at Larmax moot, and a mysterious man appears to be living in the office suite next door.
Radio Iris is an ambient, eerie dream of a novel, written with remarkable precision and grace that could also serve as an appropriate allegory for our modern recession.
"Radio Iris brings new shimmer and depth to the word 'sensory' — Iris' perceptions are both keen and open, so mysterious and grounded, and the book builds to a narrative of mystery and longing with visceral, ringing precision." Aimee Bender
"A noirish nod to the monotony of work." O: The Oprah Magazine
"Kinney is a Southern California Camus." Los Angeles Magazine
"A finely-crafted, subtle thriller. Kinney leads us by the hand so skillfully that everyday happenings become riveting....Suggestive of Murakami....A very satisfying and engaging read." The Brooklyn Rail
"Radio Iris is a revelation, a whimsical, charming and beautifully observed novel about quotidian life. Anne-Marie Kinney's Iris is a contemporary version of Calvino's Marcovaldo, caught between the rich expression of her own humanity and the random demands of the workaday world." T.C. Boyle
"Working for a company that might be called Kafka Ballard and Dickinson, bearing a kind of sonic witness to a world of static, Iris likes to listen the way some like to watch. Searching for home, she's the passenger of her own voice. Anne-Marie Kinney's Radio Iris is a novel of unsettling humor and elusive terror, a piercing loneliness and the strangeness of the banal, and a hushed power that grows in volume before your ears." Steve Erickson
"Ms. Kinney is a witty observer of the soul-sapping drudgery that accompanies such [an office] job. Iris's bizarre, passive-aggressive boss is a particularly spot-on creation, a man who arrives and vanishes with no warning and who stores important documents under a floorboard. [An] astute evocation of office weirdness and malaise." The Wall Street Journal
Radio Iris deals with watercooler culture in an artful and existential way, delivering an eerie allegory of our modern recession.
About the Author
Anne-Marie Kinney has received the Edward W. Moses Creative Writing Prize from USC, and been published in Black Clock, Indiana Review, and Keyhole, and performed at L.A.s Word Theatre. Radio Iris is her first novel.
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