Poet and critic Andrew Durbin’s first novel takes you on a journey through superstorms and rising tides, underground nightclubs and drunken hookups, artists’ colonies and Californian cults. We may never have that recipe again, but we can certainly join Durbin on this peculiarly queer search for connection. MacArthur Park is a liquid book that continually surprises, arouses, confounds, and delights. Recommended By Adam P., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Andrew Durbin’s debut novel asks what it means to belong to a place, an idea, and a time, even as those things begin to slip away
After Hurricane Sandy, Nick Fowler, a writer, stranded alone in a Manhattan apartment without power, begins to contemplate disaster. Months later, at an artist residency in upstate New York, Nick finds his subject in disaster itself and the communities shaped by it, where crisis animates both hope and denial, unacknowledged pasts and potential futures. As he travels to Los Angeles and London on assignment, Nick discovers that outsiders — their lives and histories disturbed by sex, loss, and bad weather — are often better understood by what they have hidden from the world than what they have revealed.
"MacArthur Park is an ecstatic debut from a curious writer.... his sublime aspirations for fiction are ones that will be of larger intrigue outside the New York bubble that is probed in this thought-provoking novel." Christopher Stewart, Lambda Literary
"In MacArthur Park, Durbin observes that 'everyone wants to be an artist because everyone wants to speak about the now.' ...Durbin proves himself unafraid of writing about the present. The form in which he presents it — as the accrual of a person’s disparate and striking ideas coalescing into a novel, a love story even — makes me think of how Donna Summer sounds when she sings, “I’ll never have that recipe again." Thora Siemson, Lithub
"Durbin's characters are archetypal urban millennials. They work coffee-shop jobs while they peddle their chapbooks. They live in Bed-Stuy and call their parents when they can't meet their rent. Terrified of a future that's far from clear, they decide to dance out the storm, to take ecstasy and fuck – to imagine that, for the meantime at least, everything will be OK. Their frustrations extrapolate our collective failure to forecast in an increasingly volatile age, when nature and politics lash out unexpectedly and with extreme violence. The novel's chaotic sense of drift is an honest portrait of a generation loosed from its existential moorings." Evan, Moffitt, BOMB Magazine
About the Author
Andrew Durbin is a poet, novelist, editor, and critic based in New York. He is also the author of Mature Themes.