Synopses & Reviews
Justine Moppett is 34, pregnant, and fleeing an abusive relationship in New York to dig up an even more traumatic childhood in Austin. Waiting for her there is a cast of more than a dozen misfits a hemophobic aspiring serial killer, a deranged soprano opera singer, a debt-addicted entrepreneur-cum-madam, a matchmaking hermaphrodite each hurtling toward their own calamities, and, ultimately, toward each other. A Texan Gabriel García Márquez who writes tragicomic twists reminiscent of John Kennedy Toole, Bill Cotter produces some of the most visceral, absurd, and downright hilarious sentences to be found in fiction today. The Parallel Apartments is a bold leap forward for a writer whose protean talents, whose sheer exuberance for language and what a novel can do, marks him as one of the most exciting stylists in America.
"Reading Bill Cotter's The Parallel Apartments is like taking some kind of word drug, but a new one, synthesized in a desert lab from molecules of Lipsyte, Dickens, Pynchon, Williams, Chabon, DeWitt, and Joyce, and then spun together with Cotter's own unique particles to yield a book that produces an actual high when read. There's micro-attention paid to sweatpants material and the feel of artificial cheese powder on fingertips and the bouillon smell of nether regions. There is sadness. There is loneliness. There are riffs that make me wish an actor were there to read to me aloud, so I could cry from laughter without needing to clearly see the page. This book is an experience it is a never-read-anything-like-it-before work of brainy, heartfelt joy." Heidi Julavits, author of The Vanishers and The Effect of Living Backwards
"Bill Cotter writes with so much dark wit, such a keen eye for unsettling detail, such a perfect ear for the ways in which his bruised yet hopeful characters think and speak, that the sheer force of his fictional mind took me by surprise. The Parallel Apartments is an amazing read." Tom Barbash, author of Stay Up With Me
"Four generations of Austin women or five or three, depending on how you count rivet our attention in this ribald and absolutely compelling novel. Both playfully absurd and absurdly playful, The Parallel Apartments is full of fresh language, exact observation, and best of all an underlying and genuine tenderness." Scott Hutchins, author of A Working Theory of Love
About the Author
Bill Cotter was born in Dallas in 1964 and has worked as an antiquarian book dealer and restorer since 2000. He lives in Austin, TX, with the storyteller Annie La Ganga. His first novel was Fever Chart.