Synopses & Reviews
In The Age of Wire and String, hailed by Robert Coover as "the most audacious literary debut in decades," Ben Marcus welds together a new reality from the scrapheap of the past. Dogs, birds, horses, automobiles, and the weather are some of the recycled elements in Marcus's first collection--part fiction, part handbook--as familiar objects take on markedly unfamiliar meanings. Gradually, this makeshift world, in its defiance of the laws of physics and language, finds a foundation in its own implausibility, as Marcus produces new feelings and sensations--both comic and disturbing--in the definitive guide to an unpredictable yet exhilarating plane of existence.
"The most audacious literary debut in decades — witty, startlingly inventive, funny but fundamentally disturbing, language itself held together here by whimsical bits of wire and string. Ben Marcus is a one-of-a-kind stand-up phenom, a comic writer of power and originality. The Age of Wire and String marks the arrival of a unique new talent in American letters." Robert Coover
"This book is a coolly lyrical, sometimes tongue-in-cheek, pseudo-scientific description of the Earth and the life of its various populations — as though Marcus were a sociologist describing the world in which everything is wired to everything else....The Age of Wire and String anticipates a career devoted to intelligent exploration of major themes." Kelly Cherry, Chicago Tribune
"An extraordinary first novel....The Age of Wire and String, a treasury of interconnected fables of violence and hope, stands out as an exhilarating work of literature." Steven Poole, Times Literary Supplement
"A rare, genius-struck achievement...filled with great beauties, high themes, enormous sorrows." Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Ben Marcus's work has appeared in Grand Street, McSweeney's, Conjunctions, and elsewhere. The recipient of two Pushcart Prizes, a Whiting Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts grant, he is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Columbia University and the author of two books, the novel Notable American Women and the story collection The Age of Wire and String. He lives in New York City.